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    • #21022
      paul315
      Participant

                                                                                                                                                                                       
      This update is to transfer my New Topic Post, and any replies, that I made under similar post names.  I am doing this to try and make it simpler for me to keep track of my entries.
      If anyone else reads it and finds it confusing pleas overlook my varied attempts to get my stuff together, I am on the  computer a lot but still not too familiar with the best way to do things.  I might consider a computer class now that I have more time on my hands since I am not spending all that time at the casino.   The first update was to correct spelling.
      The transferred post come at the end.                                                                                               
      ———————————————————————————————————————————-     
      I started my membership in Gambling Therapy with a post entitled "Day Two is Still a Day Away"  I joined this site yesterday (Aug 12th) and was hoping to start my postings announcing that I made it past my second day.  I can’t do that, on what was to be my second day I ended up on one of my more stupid binges.  So, the count down starts again.  Somehow I regretfully have the feeling that I might have to face the realization of this title again, I do not plan to but after reading other post, I accept the fact that it might happen; I also accept the fact that I can start over if need be – hopefully this will not happen but if it does I am already looking for the strength and help to put my Second Day behind me forever. The rest of this post is mainly for my own acknowledgment of my problem.   
      My user name is Paul315, I am 65, retired but work part time. I am in the process of a divorce and live alone in a rented apartment. I have a grown family from my first marriage and also a teenage daughter in my current marriage. My new family is in France but I found myself in a depressed state being away from my US family after 9-11 that I had to return to the States for awhile.  I really intended to go back but time and distance took their toll.  I returned to my home in New Orleans only to be chased out by Katrina, another blow to my state of mind.  From there I came back to St Louis where my grown family lives.  Being near them is my only satisfaction but that is diminished by the thoughts of my French family.  I believe these are the main reasons for my need to use gambling as an outlet – it is a make believe world where I can hide. 
      I have been attracted to gambling since first visiting Vegas in 1985. Prior to that I was never involved other then occasional home games. Up until the mid 90’s my involvement consisted of a yearly trip to Vegas where I enjoyed a controlled visit. When casinos opened in the local community, both is Saint Louis and New Orleans, my visits increased. I also went to  the casinos in Nice much too frequently and keep it to myself, not as a secret, I mentioned it in passing but not as a topic of my daily activities, but because I felt it as a fault even before this admission of being an addict.  Now it is a serious problem. I start off at the casino for entertainment and a social outlet but end up go on a crazy binge that I can’t walk away from, no matter if I am winning or loosing.
       A greater problem is that I now find myself writing checks, that I realize afterwords, is way over my balance. Once I get started, I can’t control myself, I go insane. This erratic behavior bothers me later but at time my mental functions are so impaired that I even deny myself bathroom breaks until the very last moment. After I have to juggle my expenses around my then drastically reduced income. The check cashing services allow this and collect their fees, my bank overdrafts large amounts, collecting their fees. These fees are now, alone with my gambling are eating me alive.  It is like being indebted to a loan shark. I would place myself in a Self-exclusion from Gambling Program but fear that I might still go and then be arrested for trespassing, although I think my writing bad checks would be a more serious crime if the check cashing services prosecuted instead of profiting from my weakness. I have reached a stage that I live in a depressed state of mind and do not know what to do. This is my first cry for help, but it should have been sooner.
       The following is the post I mentioned above, I am repeating  that post here as my beginning:
      My Answers to Gamblers Anonymous’ Twenty Questions 
             1.  Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
                       Yes, although I have not called in saying I couldn’t show up, I have taken off early
                       to go to a special gambling event.
              2.  Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
                       Yes, even though I live alone I have made my own home life unhappy.
              3.  Did gambling affect your reputation?
                       Yes, it has caused some family members to think less of me.
              4.  Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
                       Yes, but I tend to play down these feelings.
              5.  Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve
                   financial difficulties?
                       Yes, this is my reason for my uncontrolled gambling after I lose heavily during
                       my so called "controlled" gambling.
              6.  Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
                       Yes, the depressed state I get in drains all ambition to do other things.
              7.  After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
                       Yes, I also have to stay and continue with funds I don’t have to spare.
              8.  After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
                       Yes, winning does not satisfy me, most of the time I have to stay and
                       gamble until all is gone.
              9.  Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
                       Yes, sometimes I don’t even have enough change for coffee the next day.
             10.  Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
                       Yes, I had to borrow from by daughter and brother, I have also taken advances
                       on my  credit cards.
             11.  Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
                        Yes, I have sold a few items on eBay to gain extra funds.
             12.  Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
                       Yes, I take from my living allotment regularly.
             13.  Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
                       Yes, I cut my daughter’s child support short.
             14.  Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
                       Yes, I completely lose track of time, I have even had to find alternative
                       ways home after I miss the last bus.
             15.  Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
                       Yes, these are the only reasons that I gamble, at first it was enjoyment,
                       but not it is an escape.
             16.  Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
                       Yes, I have started to write hot checks and I have delayed depositing money
                       from sales at work.
             17.  Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
                       Yes, I lay awake trying to figure out a way to change my life.
             18.  Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
                       Yes, not any arguments but the disappointments and frustrations of the gambling 
                       in it’s self causes me to want to gamble more.
             19.  Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
                       This is the only question that I can answer "no" to, but only because I can’t think of
                       any good fortune that I have experienced lately.
             20.  Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
                       Yes, I don;t think that I have seriously considered it, but I have thought about it
                       being a solution.
      I answered yes to more then the seven that seams to be the cut off, so I guess that I am a compulsive gambler in need of help. To tell the truth, I didn’t have to take the test to know. 
      My answers are much more complex then the short ones I have listed and that makes my problem even more scary.
      ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
      The rest of this post now showes the transfers mentioned at the begaining:
       

           
      Tuesday, August 18, 2009
      8:03:21 AM**
      paul315
      Missouri
       

      Day Two is Still a Day Away – Gamblers Anonymous Report

      I went to my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting last night and got to report that I had reached my 4th day of not gambling.  The opening was like a movie scene with everyone announcing "My name is ____, I am a compulsive gambler, my last day to gamble was ____",  I did not say much after my opening lines, but me telling a group of strangers my secret was a big step. It is different stating this fact and talking about it live then posting on line with time to think out what you are writing.
      There were fifteen in attendance, including myself and another first timer.  Seeing them all there and each talking about about the different issues relating to our compulsive behaviors reinforces the fact that we are not alone and that there is help from others that care.  The thing that stood out to me most was the number of members that had achieved quite a few  years of being free, with one celebrating her 14th "Birthday". It was good to see that our goal can be reached. Other established members had a lot of years in the program but with a few slips. I do not know how many years and slips the fourteen year old had been through,  but the variety of situations and the continuing efforts were again encouraging.
      But even with just attending the one meeting and as in reading the post here for only a few days, I realize that these repetitive reports are a must in gaining our independence from gambling.  Just as in learning the alphabet and our multiplication tables where the constant repeating teaches us these basic needs,  we need the constant reports of our actions to train us to chose the good option between gambling or not gambling. 
      Hope to attend my second meeting. 
      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.
      Quote Post

           
      Thursday, August 20, 2009
      12:46:59 AM**
      warrior
      United States
       

      Re: Day Two is Still a Day Away – Gamblers Anonymous Report

      wwwoa sounds good to me.i need to go maybe. i havnt done that yet/erll  see ya and  one more no gambling day is good.to us
      here to make it one year..and more, lets do it!!!
      Quote Post

           
      Thursday, August 20, 2009
      12:01:23 PM**
      colin in brum
       

      Re: Day Two is Still a Day Away – Gamblers Anonymous Report

      Hi Paul, yes I think that was one of the main things I took from my first meeting – the success stories in the room showed me that I had hope again, I could stop gambling.  A couple hours a week at a meeting with, now, friends is a small price to pay for a life time in recovery.   Good post.

      Quote Post

       

           
      Friday, August 21, 2009
      9:48:09 AM**
      paul315
      Missouri
       

      Day Two is Still a Day Away – Announcement to Family

      Last night I told my daughter about my joining Gamblers Anonymous and my activities here on Gambling Therapy. She has know of my "attraction" to gambling for a while and I have even borrowed money from her with the explicit reason to cover some bad checks I wrote at the casino, but my announcement seamed to surprise her a little, with her saying that she did not realize that my gambling was that bad (we can hide it from many, and even ourselves, before we decide to stop the deceit).  She also was extremely happy that I was doing something, leaving me to believe that she did know of or suspected my compulsion.
      I have also told my brother and my sister of my problem, plus my other brother has known for awhile. They show concern but we are not close enough for me to feel any support. When I did tell my one brother he indirectly, and unintentionally, gave me more support then he, or I at the time, realized.  I had also asked him for money, with the explicit reason to cover another check I wrote for gambling.  When I asked, I knew that he would not give it to me so I guess I was actually seeking real help.  As expected, he did not give me any money, he also did not give me any support but rather belittled me telling me how week I was.  This truth helped awaken me to my dilemma and accept my compulsion and my personal responsibility to stop it.
      After reading a post by  paul1day, and like him, I would like to say "that my post are for me", so forgive me if I seam to carry on.  This is not to say that I am not seeking your help, I read these post all the time and, again paraphrasing paul1, "graciously accept all the help I receive here"  and deeply appreciate your comments that give me further insight, help and encouragement.
      Thank you and bless you all.

       

           
      Tuesday, September 01, 2009
      12:25:39 AM**
      paul315
      Missouri
       

      Day Two is Still a Day Away – From Attraction to Compulsion

       

       
       
      I started off responding to the below copied portion of a post made by colin in brum  in his response to one by  alexthered but it turned into more then just a response so I an posting it as part of my own Journal instead.
       
       
      Originally posted by colin in brum

       
      …  i’m not sure what you mean by wanting to be "normal".  If you mean you want to be able to gamble "normally" I’m afraid that’s not possible. .. 
       
       

       
      In this response Colin made to Alex what he stated hit home with me. 
      First, I will say that the last part of that post "I’m afraid that’s not possible" is an absolute gimme, but, my recognizing and accepting this truth also feeds my resentment to the fact that I will never again be able to enjoy the pleasure of "normal" gambling.
       
      Every Thursday for the past four years my daughter has picked me up at a bus stop near her work for my weekly visit with her and my granddaughter. This bus stop happens to be at a casino, actually it is within the casino it’s self at the VIP drop-off area.  In the past, especially during the past coupe of years while not so much during the first two, I would go in and hurriedly gamble (blow away) twenty to forty – and sometimes more – dollars during my brief twenty minuet wait.  Now, since joining Gambling Therapy and Gamblers Anonymous, I sit outside the entrance and watch the wave of people going in. For the most part I see happy and cheerful people, individuals, couples and small groups going in for a evening of normal enjoyment and relaxation (I also see a few with what I imagine as tormented looks caused by a compulsive behavior). I watch these normal people partaking in a normal everyday event with resentment while thinking back when I was able to enjoy the pleasures that casinos offer to some.  I think of my first gambling experience when I went to Vegas on a training seminar and the subsequent trips I took once or twice a year.  The Strip and Downtown gambling area was exciting and quite enjoyable offering a relaxing and comfortable get-a-way. At that time I was able to enjoy this environment and the nearby surrounding attractions without being trapped into the marathon gambling situations and binges that took the place of my "normal" gambling. (I also recall that during my first time there that I scared a friend so much by my rapid and reckless playing on a group of slots simultaneously that she stopped seeing me afterwords – the first sign of my unhealthy attraction, addiction, and future compulsion).
       
      This enjoyment of my controlled gambling trips lasted for quite a few years. Then the casino’s barriers that limited my experiences and restricted my addiction started to break down. There were now casinos every were.  Instead of planning a trip I only had to drive a couple of hours or a few minutes, and was even within a short walking distance of a casino.  During this period I was still able to curb my attraction, control my addiction and still visited the casinos for enjoyment. (I personally find that an addiction, even one  to potentially harmful so-called vices such as smoking, drinking and even gambling, etc., can be controlled and remain enjoyable when done with a conscious understanding and desire to contain them.)  However, as in my case and that of many of those here, an addiction can become uncontrollable for whatever the reason, be it from too much exposure or too frequent use to a life altering event or just human makeup, and turn into the poisoning compulsion that I now must live with.
       
      So gambling for me can never again be a normal enjoyable occasion.  It will always be the object of a constant battle over a once harmless and enjoyable recreational pastime that I let fester from my first innocent attraction at a training seminar into a controllable addiction, and finally into a dreadful everyday compulsion.
       
      As I said in a prior post, "if you can’t box it in, you have to box it out"; well, I have had to box it out and I will be victorious in this war of keeping it boxed out.
       

      Replies to this post from me will now be a continuation of my Journal.            
      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.
       

       

      — 8/14/2009 4:18:56 PM: post edited by paul315.
      — 8/15/2009 2:03:34 AM: post edited by paul315.– 9/11/2009 3:24:13 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21023
      vera
      Participant

      Paul,
      i’m reading a story of a man who has a gambling problem. He is broke. He is worried. He is lonely. He is afraid.
      is that you Paul?
      There is a lot of help here. also in GA. You can get a "buddy" on this site. You can get counselling. You can self-exclude. You won’t break a barring order. You’re a proud man Paul. it shows in your writing!
      Look at today only. Can you hand over your money to a trusted friend ? (No money ? Join the club !)  Can you find some activity to occupy yourself. Free of charge, you can walk in the park. Take a bike ride. Visit a neighbour or friend. Cook a meal or eat in a friend’s/family member’s house. the options are endless.
      Just for TODAY, do not gamble!
       all the sevens

    • #21024
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Paul,
      Well done on coming here to try to manage this evil addiction we call gambling.  You have been through the wringer in the last 10 years, no wonder you are looking for an escape.  I have a couple of questions i would like you to answer.  Firstly, have you sought any counselling in regards to 9/11 and Katrina?  It seems to me that these are major events in your life that maybe have not been dealt with.
      Your family in France, are you in contact with them?  It seems that you have a lot of loose ends that are playing on your mind and these are obvious triggers in reading your post.  I would like to know a little more about them, have they been to the US since you arrived there, are you planning to divorce?
      I know i seem nosy, but there are a lot of triggers that are popping up in my head while reading your post.  Mentally, the best way we can fight the urges, is to work out what is triggering them and try to manage them in a different way.  There are also many physical barriers you can put in place to help.  Can you give over your finances to a trusted family member or friend?  Does anyone know of your current situation?  Another barrier is self exclusion.  This was instrumental for me.  I self excluded from every venue in my region. 
      Paul, there are things you can do to help deter us when we get the urge.  I am 63 days clean today, something that i would never in my wildest dreams thought possible.  The barriers we put up are the most important thing at the start.  If you have barriers, then you can work on the rest. 
      Yes, we have to find the strength to get through the days when we really want to gamble, but you are not alone in this, there are so many wonderful people here to support you.  We have all been there, on day 1, its not without its ups and downs, but when your head clears after a few days not gambling, you just may see things in a different light.
      I wish you all the best, keep reading and posting. I find this keeps my urges at bay, it just might help you too.
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xx
       Fighting the good fight…One day at a time

    • #21025
      paul315
      Participant

      Kathryn thanks for you reply, by that I mean for the time and effort it took and the concern you show.
      I will get back with you concerning your questions.
      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.– 8/15/2009 3:12:28 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21026
      the cowboy
      Participant

      Paul,
      It may mean nothing, or everything but our thoughts are with you. Nobody said this addiction was easy but we can alter our thought process to act before we gamble instead of acting after we have gambled.
      Stay strong and try and remember, gambling is not our friend, gambling is not OK to do if you are a CG, gambling will take your money and leave you broke.
      Look at it this way, If whilst gambling I had won the lottery do you think that I would have stopped????? truth is, I would have got on the 1st plane to Las Vegas to celebrate my win, how sad is that, my 1st thought was not to treat my family or friends or myself but to gamble……… gamble, gamble gamble until I was either skint or sick of losing.
      I kinda understand how people now say that money is the root of all evil, i dont think that winning the lottery would make happy.
       Players do not continuously lose… They continuously nearly win!!

    • #21027
      paul315
      Participant

      This may not be the way of updating or adding information to my Journal, but I would like to use it as an accounting and follow-up of my journey and progress.   As such, I hope to post in this way from time to time, unless I find or am shown a better way.
      ——————————————————————————————————-
       My first post, with a lot of inserts (I moved it here for my convience only):
      Originally posted by paul315

                                                                                                                                                                                       
      This update is to transfer my New Topic Post, and any replies, that I made under similar post names.  I am doing this to try and make it simpler for me to keep track of my entries.
      If anyone else reads it and finds it confusing pleas overlook my varied attempts to get my stuff together, I am on the  computer a lot but still not too familiar with the best way to do things.  I might consider a computer class now that I have more time on my hands since I am not spending all that time at the casino.   The first update was to correct spelling.
      The transferred post come at the end.                                                                                               
      ———————————————————————————————————————————-     
      I started my membership in Gambling Therapy with a post entitled "Day Two is Still a Day Away"  I joined this site yesterday (Aug 12th) and was hoping to start my postings announcing that I made it past my second day.  I can’t do that, on what was to be my second day I ended up on one of my more stupid binges.  So, the count down starts again.  Somehow I regretfully have the feeling that I might have to face the realization of this title again, I do not plan to but after reading other post, I accept the fact that it might happen; I also accept the fact that I can start over if need be – hopefully this will not happen but if it does I am already looking for the strength and help to put my Second Day behind me forever. The rest of this post is mainly for my own acknowledgment of my problem.   
      My user name is Paul315, I am 65, retired but work part time. I am in the process of a divorce and live alone in a rented apartment. I have a grown family from my first marriage and also a teenage daughter in my current marriage. My new family is in France but I found myself in a depressed state being away from my US family after 9-11 that I had to return to the States for awhile.  I really intended to go back but time and distance took their toll.  I returned to my home in New Orleans only to be chased out by Katrina, another blow to my state of mind.  From there I came back to St Louis where my grown family lives.  Being near them is my only satisfaction but that is diminished by the thoughts of my French family.  I believe these are the main reasons for my need to use gambling as an outlet – it is a make believe world where I can hide. 
      I have been attracted to gambling since first visiting Vegas in 1985. Prior to that I was never involved other then occasional home games. Up until the mid 90’s my involvement consisted of a yearly trip to Vegas where I enjoyed a controlled visit. When casinos opened in the local community, both is Saint Louis and New Orleans, my visits increased. I also went to  the casinos in Nice much too frequently and keep it to myself, not as a secret, I mentioned it in passing but not as a topic of my daily activities, but because I felt it as a fault even before this admission of being an addict.  Now it is a serious problem. I start off at the casino for entertainment and a social outlet but end up go on a crazy binge that I can’t walk away from, no matter if I am winning or loosing.
       A greater problem is that I now find myself writing checks, that I realize afterwords, is way over my balance. Once I get started, I can’t control myself, I go insane. This erratic behavior bothers me later but at time my mental functions are so impaired that I even deny myself bathroom breaks until the very last moment. After I have to juggle my expenses around my then drastically reduced income. The check cashing services allow this and collect their fees, my bank overdrafts large amounts, collecting their fees. These fees are now, alone with my gambling are eating me alive.  It is like being indebted to a loan shark. I would place myself in a Self-exclusion from Gambling Program but fear that I might still go and then be arrested for trespassing, although I think my writing bad checks would be a more serious crime if the check cashing services prosecuted instead of profiting from my weakness. I have reached a stage that I live in a depressed state of mind and do not know what to do. This is my first cry for help, but it should have been sooner.
       The following is the post I mentioned above, I am repeating  that post here as my beginning:
      My Answers to Gamblers Anonymous’ Twenty Questions 
             1.  Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
                       Yes, although I have not called in saying I couldn’t show up, I have taken off early
                       to go to a special gambling event.
              2.  Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
                       Yes, even though I live alone I have made my own home life unhappy.
              3.  Did gambling affect your reputation?
                       Yes, it has caused some family members to think less of me.
              4.  Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
                       Yes, but I tend to play down these feelings.
              5.  Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve
                   financial difficulties?
                       Yes, this is my reason for my uncontrolled gambling after I lose heavily during
                       my so called "controlled" gambling.
              6.  Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
                       Yes, the depressed state I get in drains all ambition to do other things.
              7.  After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
                       Yes, I also have to stay and continue with funds I don’t have to spare.
              8.  After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
                       Yes, winning does not satisfy me, most of the time I have to stay and
                       gamble until all is gone.
              9.  Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
                       Yes, sometimes I don’t even have enough change for coffee the next day.
             10.  Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
                       Yes, I had to borrow from by daughter and brother, I have also taken advances
                       on my  credit cards.
             11.  Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
                        Yes, I have sold a few items on eBay to gain extra funds.
             12.  Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
                       Yes, I take from my living allotment regularly.
             13.  Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
                       Yes, I cut my daughter’s child support short.
             14.  Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
                       Yes, I completely lose track of time, I have even had to find alternative
                       ways home after I miss the last bus.
             15.  Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
                       Yes, these are the only reasons that I gamble, at first it was enjoyment,
                       but not it is an escape.
             16.  Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
                       Yes, I have started to write hot checks and I have delayed depositing money
                       from sales at work.
             17.  Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
                       Yes, I lay awake trying to figure out a way to change my life.
             18.  Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
                       Yes, not any arguments but the disappointments and frustrations of the gambling 
                       in it’s self causes me to want to gamble more.
             19.  Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
                       This is the only question that I can answer "no" to, but only because I can’t think of
                       any good fortune that I have experienced lately.
             20.  Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
                       Yes, I don;t think that I have seriously considered it, but I have thought about it
                       being a solution.
      I answered yes to more then the seven that seams to be the cut off, so I guess that I am a compulsive gambler in need of help. To tell the truth, I didn’t have to take the test to know. 
      My answers are much more complex then the short ones I have listed and that makes my problem even more scary.
      ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
      The rest of this post now showes the transfers mentioned at the begaining:
       

           
      Tuesday, August 18, 2009
      8:03:21 AM**
      paul315
      Missouri
       

      Day Two is Still a Day Away – Gamblers Anonymous Report

      I went to my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting last night and got to report that I had reached my 4th day of not gambling.  The opening was like a movie scene with everyone announcing "My name is ____, I am a compulsive gambler, my last day to gamble was ____",  I did not say much after my opening lines, but me telling a group of strangers my secret was a big step. It is different stating this fact and talking about it live then posting on line with time to think out what you are writing.
      There were fifteen in attendance, including myself and another first timer.  Seeing them all there and each talking about about the different issues relating to our compulsive behaviors reinforces the fact that we are not alone and that there is help from others that care.  The thing that stood out to me most was the number of members that had achieved quite a few  years of being free, with one celebrating her 14th "Birthday". It was good to see that our goal can be reached. Other established members had a lot of years in the program but with a few slips. I do not know how many years and slips the fourteen year old had been through,  but the variety of situations and the continuing efforts were again encouraging.
      But even with just attending the one meeting and as in reading the post here for only a few days, I realize that these repetitive reports are a must in gaining our independence from gambling.  Just as in learning the alphabet and our multiplication tables where the constant repeating teaches us these basic needs,  we need the constant reports of our actions to train us to chose the good option between gambling or not gambling. 
      Hope to attend my second meeting. 
      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.
      Quote Post

           
      Thursday, August 20, 2009
      12:46:59 AM**
      warrior
      United States
       

      Re: Day Two is Still a Day Away – Gamblers Anonymous Report

      wwwoa sounds good to me.i need to go maybe. i havnt done that yet/erll  see ya and  one more no gambling day is good.to us
      here to make it one year..and more, lets do it!!!
      Quote Post

           
      Thursday, August 20, 2009
      12:01:23 PM**
      colin in brum
       

      Re: Day Two is Still a Day Away – Gamblers Anonymous Report

      Hi Paul, yes I think that was one of the main things I took from my first meeting – the success stories in the room showed me that I had hope again, I could stop gambling.  A couple hours a week at a meeting with, now, friends is a small price to pay for a life time in recovery.   Good post.

      Quote Post

       

           
      Friday, August 21, 2009
      9:48:09 AM**
      paul315
      Missouri
       

      Day Two is Still a Day Away – Announcement to Family

      Last night I told my daughter about my joining Gamblers Anonymous and my activities here on Gambling Therapy. She has know of my "attraction" to gambling for a while and I have even borrowed money from her with the explicit reason to cover some bad checks I wrote at the casino, but my announcement seamed to surprise her a little, with her saying that she did not realize that my gambling was that bad (we can hide it from many, and even ourselves, before we decide to stop the deceit).  She also was extremely happy that I was doing something, leaving me to believe that she did know of or suspected my compulsion.
      I have also told my brother and my sister of my problem, plus my other brother has known for awhile. They show concern but we are not close enough for me to feel any support. When I did tell my one brother he indirectly, and unintentionally, gave me more support then he, or I at the time, realized.  I had also asked him for money, with the explicit reason to cover another check I wrote for gambling.  When I asked, I knew that he would not give it to me so I guess I was actually seeking real help.  As expected, he did not give me any money, he also did not give me any support but rather belittled me telling me how week I was.  This truth helped awaken me to my dilemma and accept my compulsion and my personal responsibility to stop it.
      After reading a post by  paul1day, and like him, I would like to say "that my post are for me", so forgive me if I seam to carry on.  This is not to say that I am not seeking your help, I read these post all the time and, again paraphrasing paul1, "graciously accept all the help I receive here"  and deeply appreciate your comments that give me further insight, help and encouragement.
      Thank you and bless you all.

       

           
      Tuesday, September 01, 2009
      12:25:39 AM**
      paul315
      Missouri
       

      Day Two is Still a Day Away – From Attraction to Compulsion

       

       
       
      I started off responding to the below copied portion of a post made by colin in brum  in his response to one by  alexthered but it turned into more then just a response so I an posting it as part of my own Journal instead.
       
       
      Originally posted by colin in brum

       
      …  i’m not sure what you mean by wanting to be "normal".  If you mean you want to be able to gamble "normally" I’m afraid that’s not possible. .. 
       
       

       
      In this response Colin made to Alex what he stated hit home with me. 
      First, I will say that the last part of that post "I’m afraid that’s not possible" is an absolute gimme, but, my recognizing and accepting this truth also feeds my resentment to the fact that I will never again be able to enjoy the pleasure of "normal" gambling.
       
      Every Thursday for the past four years my daughter has picked me up at a bus stop near her work for my weekly visit with her and my granddaughter. This bus stop happens to be at a casino, actually it is within the casino it’s self at the VIP drop-off area.  In the past, especially during the past coupe of years while not so much during the first two, I would go in and hurriedly gamble (blow away) twenty to forty – and sometimes more – dollars during my brief twenty minuet wait.  Now, since joining Gambling Therapy and Gamblers Anonymous, I sit outside the entrance and watch the wave of people going in. For the most part I see happy and cheerful people, individuals, couples and small groups going in for a evening of normal enjoyment and relaxation (I also see a few with what I imagine as tormented looks caused by a compulsive behavior). I watch these normal people partaking in a normal everyday event with resentment while thinking back when I was able to enjoy the pleasures that casinos offer to some.  I think of my first gambling experience when I went to Vegas on a training seminar and the subsequent trips I took once or twice a year.  The Strip and Downtown gambling area was exciting and quite enjoyable offering a relaxing and comfortable get-a-way. At that time I was able to enjoy this environment and the nearby surrounding attractions without being trapped into the marathon gambling situations and binges that took the place of my "normal" gambling. (I also recall that during my first time there that I scared a friend so much by my rapid and reckless playing on a group of slots simultaneously that she stopped seeing me afterwords – the first sign of my unhealthy attraction, addiction, and future compulsion).
       
      This enjoyment of my controlled gambling trips lasted for quite a few years. Then the casino’s barriers that limited my experiences and restricted my addiction started to break down. There were now casinos every were.  Instead of planning a trip I only had to drive a couple of hours or a few minutes, and was even within a short walking distance of a casino.  During this period I was still able to curb my attraction, control my addiction and still visited the casinos for enjoyment. (I personally find that an addiction, even one  to potentially harmful so-called vices such as smoking, drinking and even gambling, etc., can be controlled and remain enjoyable when done with a conscious understanding and desire to contain them.)  However, as in my case and that of many of those here, an addiction can become uncontrollable for whatever the reason, be it from too much exposure or too frequent use to a life altering event or just human makeup, and turn into the poisoning compulsion that I now must live with.
       
      So gambling for me can never again be a normal enjoyable occasion.  It will always be the object of a constant battle over a once harmless and enjoyable recreational pastime that I let fester from my first innocent attraction at a training seminar into a controllable addiction, and finally into a dreadful everyday compulsion.
       
      As I said in a prior post, "if you can’t box it in, you have to box it out"; well, I have had to box it out and I will be victorious in this war of keeping it boxed out.
       

      Replies to this post from me will now be a continuation of my Journal.            
       

       I took a positive step this morning, I contacted the check cashing services and stopped any approval of check cashing request.  If ever I can’t control the urge at least I will not have use of funds that I do not have available.  The easy access to "advanced monies" was feeding my compulsion.   I know that check cashing wasn’t the reason of my compulsive gambling, but eliminating it is part of a box I have to build (a long time ago on the old Baretta TV show Robert Blake made the statement that "If you can’t box it in, you have to box it out."), and although he is no longer a good roll model, that statement has stayed with me and I have started building my box.
      Now that I eliminated my check cashing options, my big concern is that if I do go back I will use the real money I have for my expenses.  Hopefully this recognition and fear will help keep me away. 
      I know that I  use the term "if I go back" and that it may not sound like a positive attitude but, I also know, through a  friend in AA and reading the post of others in this forum, that lapses have a good chance of sneaking in.  This is the reason for my closing signature that I will be using, "Day Two is Still a Day Away – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time". Every day is a day away from day two.
      Also, my name is Larry, not Paul as in my screen name. I an telling everyone my real name after reading a post by Bryan, aka by his screen name ‘thebfunk’, where he stated "I wrote my name for the first time to make it more real for me, thebfunk isn’t me I’m Bryan".   I chose Paul because of the Apostle Paul evolving from his past life as Saul into a better one. I am listing my real name, not necessary to make this any more real for me, it is already as real as it can ever be, but to make it honest, honesty is what I see in Bryan’s statement.
      I am planning to attend a GA meeting Monday night, will let all know if I made it.
      Thanks to all for your response to my postings and for your support.
      Larry,  aka Paul315
       — 10/13/2010 3:29:29 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21028
      sherry123
      Participant

      Hi Larry, I also stopped check cashing approvals. The local Indian Casino in town does not honor self exclusion but their check cashing vendor does honor a request to not accept checks. I don’t have a debit card either.  Not being able to get cash at a casino has been a great road block. Just want your to know that I also use the ‘no checks’ trick. 
      Sherry

    • #21029
      thebfunk
      Participant

      Larry, keep it up, we dont need this in our life.

    • #21030
      paul315
      Participant

      Topic: Day Two is Still a Day Away -If Only
      Today "Would Have Been" my one month anniversary, but the very next day after starting my journey I slipped. I merely joined the recovery program that day as a token gesture, I made no commitment, no pledge to myself not to gamble, and as a result, I failed.
      Such unchallenged failure will not happen again, I am now fully committed and to fortify this undertaking I now attend GA meetings, read and participate in this site, and more important, I now pledge daily that I will not gamble that day. It takes a constant reminder.Larry, aka Paul315"Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.

    • #21031
      thebfunk
      Participant

      Larry,
      Im happy that you have made a commitment to not gambling. It feels good doesnt it? I agree it takes a constant reminder. When I forget the pain, I slip..and fall…HARD. Right now Im joining you, and pledging not to gamble today.
      Bryan

    • #21032
      paul315
      Participant

       – One Month Anniversary
      Hi … My name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler.  My last day to gamble was August 13, 2009.
      While I am very pleased that I can make this statement today, I find it hard to believe.  I can not start to name the times that I hopelessly said that I would not gamble for one month, or for one week or even a week-end. I have also tried, and failed, to condition my gambling  until a certain event, like the next full moon, or I would only gamble it I won a hand of Solitaire, or until my next payday.
      The problems with those past attempts were that; one –  they were giving me the option to gamble again, so when I slipped I merely resumed gambling earlier then planned, not failed in my goal (although, I did on occasion keep my word not to gamble until my next payday, but, when I often failed at this goal, it cost me even more in the high overdraft and returned check fees); and , two – the time frames I set, even the "one week" or "few days" restrictions, left open too big a gap for outside influences to weaken my reserve.
      Now, I only say, and solemnly pledge, that I will not gamble for today. This total commitment not to gamble, even for just that one day, completely removes the "until" time that was to allow myself to gamble again; and, it greatly restricts the time frame left open for all the outside forces to interfere to only 24 hours (this shorter 24 hour window is further reduced by filling it with other actives, and the outside forces are hindered by the barriers I have put in place).  
      Far me to be able to begin by Month 2 tomorrow, I have to continue to be gambling free today; to help me accomplish this, I pledge that I will not gamble today.
      Thank all of you here for the support and engorgement that I have gained through all your post and your sharing of your means to combat this disease. In return for your help I can only offer these few words of advice, "make and keep this same Daily Pledge, and travel your path One Day At A Time".  Again, thank you.
      Larry, aka Paul315

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.
       — 11/3/2009 11:42:10 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21033
      linnie44
      Participant

      conratulations Paul, or Larry.   I love the reason why you chose Paul though, the transformation from Saul to Paul was a consciencious decision on his part to live a new life dedicated to our lord with a new name.   But I also understand the desire to make it real…and be called by your real name.   So Larry, here’s to you, keep it real, one day at a time! We are rooting for you! *life is good

    • #21034
      paul315
      Participant

       – Day Two Anniversary
      Yesterday I wrote about my one month anniversary of being gambling free, today it is one month for my Day Two.  I know that every day can represent an anniversary of some kind but I am mentioning todays because it ties in with my topic title and my sub-goal toward being gambling free.  My main goal is to stay gambling free today – this is so that I can achieve my objective of living gambling free; the sub-goal is not to have another Day Two.  I had to have a second Day One because I slipped during my very first day due to an overconfident and presumptuous attitude that I only had to "join" the program and then I would have control. I am happy that I found out how ridiculous this was at the earliest stage, and that costly day may have been my life saver.
      Also, having an anniversary observance of Day Two at the next milestone marker seams quite simple — all I have to do is not gamble One Day At A Time and the rest will just fall into place.
      So I pledge not to gamble today and prey for the strength and wisdom to keep this pledge.
      Larry, aka Paul315

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.– 9/14/2009 10:28:31 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21035
      frozen
      Participant

      Hi Larry, so did you ever self-ban from Missouri Casinos? I didn’t see this in your posts but maybe you did mention it and I missed it. I was on a business trip in St. Charles a year or so ago. It was another one of those LONG nights at Ameristar. I gazed at my face in the glass of the Hee Haw machine that I had just sunk $700 into and was down to .23 cents. Two cents short of playing all lines so I played 1 line at 1 cent 23 times with a 1 minute pause between each spin. I had 25 minutes to reflect on how many lonely nights I had spent in that place over the years. I counted up in my head 10’s of thousands of dollars they took from me. I usually had enough points to have some BBQ right before that long walk to the parking garage. Tonight I didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together and a check cashed for 700 bucks that was no good. 30 minutes later I was entering the state trooper’s office in the back of Ameristar to self exclude. I waited for 40 minutes for him to come down to the casino entry and escort me down that long hall. Without a doubt, the most intense experience I’ve ever had. THEY ARE SERIOUS ABOUT THIS IN MO !!! NOT SOME CASINO STAFF EMPLOYEE FILLING OUT PAPERWORK, A STATE TROOPER RUNNING THE SHOW !!! Believe me if you decide to self ban, you will not ever set foot on any casino property in Missouri. Each Casino sends you a certified letter alerting you that you are now in their system for survelliance and tells you in very specific terms what will happen. That whole trespassing conversation, is not just a warning; they mean it. You ban at 1 casino and the state bans you from every casino in the state AND any affiliate casino across state lines. You win a Jackpot in Vegas and they own a casino in MO, you don’t get paid in Vegas and they kick you out immediately. Anyway, good to see you on the site and hoping you keep the chin up and the wallet in your back pocket. Take Care! Frozen
       

    • #21036
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by frozen

      Hi Larry, so did you ever self-ban from Missouri Casinos?
       

      No, I have not self-banned. I still harbor the fear that I might still go and then be arrested for trespassing. It may sound strange (and I might be sub-consciously fooling myself and I do not suggest this for anyone) but in a way I am using my "not self-banning" as another barrier.  At this time, I really think that I would want to gamble to challenge the system, even aware of the consequences you mention, more then my desires to gamble for gambling sake.  So far, thanks to the 3 G’s – God, GT, and GA, my conviction to live gambling free has remarkably overcome my "normal" urge to gamble; and adding this strange outside urge at this time is troublesome.  
      I too have had many marathon sessions and large dollar losses at the casinos, so I understand your feeling you describe. Thanks for refreshing my memory of these suicide missions; the renewed knowledge of such catastrophes adds to the down side of compulsive gambling.
      Another bit of information about self-banning here is that if you play the Lotto and win an amount that requires payment by the lottery office, that payment is denied the same as larger payouts at a casino.  Although I have played the lottery in the past, it has never been a compulsion. I mainly only played when it first started and later when the payout was in the high multi-millions.  As a testimony to my gambling free commitment, I have not purchased a single ticket or scratch-off since my last gambling day, Aug 13 2009, even when the Power Ball was at $200 plus million.
      Best wishes for your journey.
      Larry, aka Paul315

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.– 9/17/2009 11:59:56 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21037
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for posting on my thread and more importantly well done on your 40 gamble free days, that is a great achievement and 41 days ago you would have given your right arm to have that amount of time under your belt.
      Keep doing what your doing and I hope that you continue to get stronger and stronger,always watch your back because you know the gambling demon is always waiting for a moment of weakness, complacency is your biggest enemy now.
      Cheers for now.
      CarlMy soul is back

    • #21038
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by fandangos
       
      … well done on your 40 gamble free days, that is a great achievement, … 

      Also posted in reply to fandangos
      Carl,
      The "40 Days" comment in your post took me by surprise.  I was well aware of my One Month milestone, and even my day 29, but time has been passing at a fair pace and I was not conscious of the number of days that I had been gambling free since then.  I have calculated it a few times in the Daily Pledge thread of justin_SouthAfrica when making my daily pledge on his page, but the only day that I keep a mindful eye on is today.  Nevertheless, seeing the higher numbers is a good feeling and with the help of my 3 G’s, God, GA, and GT, those numbers will keep rising One Day At A Time.
      Best wishes on your journey.
      Larry

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to (but prey not) relive a new Day Two.– 9/24/2009 12:17:20 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21039
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315

      ______________________________________________________________________________ 
      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to (but prey not) relive a new Day Two.

      I have again changed my Forum Signature from that shown above to the one used below. I am still aware of the possibility of my slipping but, I have now gained a more positive outlook and when I read my old closing, it seams a bit negative.  My first change was to use my real name, Larry, although my screen name, paul315, still gives me hope. 
       Larry"Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21040
      paul315
      Participant

      As I have posted before, "my post are to help me, not just to communicate with others; So I am also copying this from a post to Chris of The Truth, the whole truth, Nothing but the truth by luidachris, because writing it hit me hard, especially the Fellow Gambler poem, and has given me more encouragement.  
      Re: The Truth, the whole truth, Nothing but the truth
      Chris,
      I just left you from the open forum, it was good talking with you and the others.
      I hope I didn’t come across too strong about the Higher Power, but I find we all need one.  GA had the incite to add "(of our understanding)" to the "humbly ask God" parts of the Twelve Steps.  Our understanding can range from the Christian God, to Buddha, Mohammad, or any other High Power of the beliefs of others – including the "Self" being the higher power for the non-believers of any culture.  One thing for certain, it is the "Self" that has to do this task, we can only gain help and strength form the outside powers, be it religion, family, friend or groups.
      At each GA meeting opening ,we recite this poem:
      I sought my soul,

      But could not see,

      I sought my God,

      But He eluded me,

      I sought my brothers and sisters,

      And found all three.

      The people at those meetings and those of us here are the "brothers and sisters" referred to, and God refers to any power that may exist in each of us.  Use your "all three" of these to help you.
      Another poem listed it the Safe Harbor web site is:
      Fellow gambler, take my hand;

      I’m your friend, I understand.

      I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;

      I’ve borne the burden of your cross.

      I found a friend who offered ease;

      He suffered, too, with this disease.

      Although he had no magic cure,

      He showed how we could endure.

      We walked together side by side;

      We spoke of things we had to hide.

      We told of sleepless nights and debts,

      Of broken homes and lies and threats.

      And so my weary gambler friend,

      Please take this hand that I extend.

      Take one more chance on something new,

      Another gambler helping you.
      Here, the Fellow gambler and Friend, is both, our brothers and sisters and our higher power. Take our hand as we take yours to make it One Day At A Time.
      Best of wishes on your journey.
      Larry"Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21041
      john6615
      Participant

      hi larry ur oing brilliant mate 1 month and a half ur right about self exclusion thats how i feel if i want to gamble i will find some were to do it so i need to no y ime doing it ,and my reason is i dont want to be the person i had become anymore careing more about playing online than my family, borrowing money i couldnt pay bac selling things that wernt mine i had started to despise myself now 4 the last 4 days i can look myself in the mirror and actualy like the person i see ive never felt better in years mate i hope u feel like me because its gonna be worth it we no that i lost my partner to but we have toaccept theres gonna be cosequences for our actions to me its just about not repeating them hope ur well mate take care god blessjohnalways look on the bright side

    • #21042
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Thanks so much for your inspirational post on my thread.  You are a wonderful and giving spirit … I appreciate your support. 
      I need to read back on your thread a bit to see how things are progressing for you in your life.  I hope all is well … I’m sure that like me, you’re starting to enjoy life as it is meant to be enjoyed.  Isn’t this whole process an epiphany???  While I hate what I have done to myself by gambling, I love this new awareness that the recovery process has brought to me.  Life is so much richer … I seem to be laughing more at the silly things, like my dog’s obsession with swimming and waves … and how he is so often side-swiped by them.  I pause more often to bring myself into the present and become aware of the warmth of the sun on my shoulders, the sound of my kids’ laughter as they watch their shows, brief hugs from my husband as he passes.
      Of course life is not perfect, but isn’t it lovely to enjoy the perfect moments … instead of being anesthetized by lights, bell and whistles.
      Day 62 for me, and today, I will not gamble.  I wish the same for you.
      All the best.
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21043
      thebfunk
      Participant

      Larry keep up the good work.

    • #21044
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted on Fresh start page in responce runninggirl Re: Day Two is Still a Day Away by paul315
      … I need to read back on your thread a bit to see how things are progressing for you in your life.  I hope all is well …  I’m sure that like me, you’re starting to enjoy life as it is meant to be enjoyed. 
      RG
      This moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.
       
      Things are going pretty good for me on my journey of being gambling free. So good in fact, I have a slight guilty feeling about the ease of my struggles compared to the extreme hard times of some others.  I do share many of the same difficulties and fight the same urges, but so far I have been able to struggle through the difficulties and control the urges.  I also realize that, although I have been able to face my adversities head-on the challenges are nevertheless strong and unceasing, and are just as real as those of others. I can only pray that this success is not just a fly-by-night venture,  but will prove out to be a lasting one. For like you, "While I hate what I have done to myself by gambling, I love this new awareness that the recovery process has brought to me" and the enjoyment of normal everyday activities and interactions with friends and family – again like you, I am " starting to enjoy life as it is meant to be enjoyed."   My compulsive gambling has robbed me of these pleasures, plus many other things, for the past few years.
      My first couple of weeks in the program were very hard in that I was flooded with a barrage of emotions associated with remorse: guilt, shame, sorrow, regret, anguish and any other adjective describing the anguish that I went through.  On top of this, when going to my first GA meeting I believed that I was going to have to face humiliation and embarrassment; and, that I would be ridiculed when people finally learned of my foolishness and weakness.  I also had the same fears that I read about here of facing criminal actions for writing an extended series of bad checks.
      I can only thank God for the strength I was given, and my fellow gamblers here and at GA who provided all their input and support (my 3G’s Team – God, GT, and GA), whereby I was able to examine by options and take the proper steps – in addition to the GA Twelve.  Although I was humbled at the GA meeting, I did not feel the humiliation and embarrassment that I feared; we were all on equal footing with the same issues.  My family and friends accepted my condition with love and understanding and encouraging praises for my courage – I do have one brother who reacted with derisive remarks but he is a negative sort of a person and his criticism only gave me his unintentional support. I am also involved in an ongoing and distant separation from my new family, and while they now know of what I have become during our separation, I need to deal more with the unintended consequence of my gambling on them.
      As for the bad checks, I was able to work out a plan directly with the check guarantee companies instead of collection agencies and the courts, thus avoiding facing prosecution and even higher legal fees.  I guess that the extravagant fees that the check guaranteers are receiving (in addition to the high fees already collected by my bank) is more advantages to them then selling off the bad checks at a discount to a collection agency.
      Well this is how things have been progressing in my life.  To reach this point, I have a constant prayer in my heart, I go once a week to GA meeting, spend countless hours on the GT site and a couple of others, and walk in fear each time I am at a nearby casino.
      My very best wishes to you on your journey.
      Sorry for the extended posting but this documentation is good therapy and help for me.
      Copy also posted to my Journal page.Larry"Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21045
      female g
      Participant

      hey larry, hope your doing ok, not great of course that will take time I read your posts and you were really on track taking action etc.  you are not alone all you need to do is get on this site to know that. stay in touch and keep trying no matter what day this is ok  don’t try to be superman though just take baby steps avoid setting yourself up for failure and in the beginning keep busy work alot excersise alot sleep alot eat well and the rest will start to fall into place.  G

    • #21046
      paul315
      Participant

      G,
      Thanks for you comments and concern.  There is no measure to the help that I receive here, nor to the warm feeling of not being alone.  As to the time frame to reach the doing great stage, one of my initial impressions during my first GA meeting was of the longevity in being gambling free that some of my fellow gamblers announced — this scared me, although their success is a great incentive, the fact that this is a life long program became evident.
      I may have taken some leaps in sitting up barriers, but it was imperative that I take them.  However, in following the program each step is very small and cautious.  In my post to runninggirl, I may have come across as having an easy time on this journey, but I am well aware that I am vulnerable to the pitfalls and that my struggles only seam less then others.  This knowledge was further reinforced today, just hours after my post, by the message in Kin L’s Reflection for the day email, Todays Gift. His email is copied below:

       Have A Wonderful Day Of Recovery !!!
      And The Start To A Great Week !!!

      Ken L GRCG ODAAT
      Today’s Gift – 09/28/2009
       

       

      From:

      "Ken Lambon" ken.lambon@rogers.com
       

      Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

      Reflection for the Day

      "How does The Program work?" newcomers sometimes ask. The two answers I most often hear are "very well" and "slowly." I’m appreciative of both answers, facetious as they may first sound, because my self-analyzing tends to be faulty. Sometimes I’ve failed to share my defects with the right people; other times, I’ve confessed their defects, rather than my own; at still other times, my sharing of defects has been more in the nature of shrill complaints about my problems. The fact is that none of us likes the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, and the confession of shortcomings, which The Steps require. But we eventually see that The Program really works. Have I picked up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at my feet?

      Today I Pray

      May God keep me from laying out my defects by comparing them to someone else’s. We are, by nature, relativists and comparers, who think in terms of "worse than. . ." "not quite as bad as. . ." or "better than. . ." May I know that my faults are faults, whether or not they are "better than. . ." others’.

      Today I Will Remember

      Bad is bad, even when it is "better than."
       
      You are reading from the book:

      A Day at a Time (Softcover) by Anonymous

      Again I apologize for rambling on, but all of this is a great help to me.
      Best wishes on your journey.
      p.s. In you message you advice me to "work alot, excersise alot, sleep alot, and eat well", why not also to eat alot ?  lol
      Larry

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
      — 9/28/2009 1:56:25 PM: post edited by paul315.– 9/29/2009 1:44:19 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21047
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by kathryn
      Thursday, August 13, 2009
      Hi Paul,
      "… Your family in France, are you in contact with them?  It seems that you have a lot of loose ends that are playing on your mind and these are obvious triggers in reading your post.  I would like to know a little more about them, have they been to the US since you arrived there, are you planning to divorce? …"
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xx
       Fighting the good fight…One day at a time
       

      Added pre-script: be prepared for a long post.
      Kathryn,
      I am finally getting around to reply to your post above. I have been kept occupied by responding to other post, it is a lot easier then replying to those about myself.  Those responses, addressing problems similar to mine, were however directed to me also, and has helped me to reach this point of addressing some of my own problems and issues, even if just for now with unknown, but just as real, friends. 
       
      It has been over seven years since I left France and have seen my family. Seven seams like a small number when you type it, but when you think about all that is encompassed in that number and of everything that could have been shared during that time, that small number turns into a life time. It may be true that "only time will heal" but time and miles can also destroy.
        
      I met and had a brief affair with my then-to-be wife, Annie, during her visit to the States and New Orleans. Three years later, after a long distant courtship via the mail and Internet, I went to France to "visit" her and my new daughter, Maeva.  I stayed, and we were married. Ironically, she wanted to, and we were, married in Vegas (during my only non-gambling visit there). I did however, gamble one afternoon in Mississippi while visiting other parts of the States while they were at the pool, I guess, now as I see it, as a "reward" for my gambling free time during our honeymoon.  For the next three years we lived a happy life in France. I was a stay-at-home house husband, my main responsibility, and one of my greatest pleasures, was taking our daughter to school each morning and picking her up in the afternoon. A couple of my fondness moments with her was during my first time of walking her to pre-school and she so proudly showed off "her Papa" to  her classmates (I later learned that she had been teased about being fatherless) the other was when I was told about her "take-to-school toy", an American Beanie Baby with Stars n’ Stripes that I had sent her, and one with which she was characterized. The small stuffed toy was worn and faded, but still it brought her comfort in being away from home each day. My granddaughter here in the States, at the same age as Maeva then, has her "dogdog" to take to her pre-school for the same reason.
      During my day I did normal everyday chores and made almost daily shopping trips to the local fruit and vegetable markets and bakeries.  These common events and duties (if you can imagine an English-only speaking American undertaking and sustaining life in a foreign country as common)) came very natural to me and my lack of French did not hinder me in the slightest way.  I also ventured out on my days alone at home and visited the small nearby  attractions and "villes".  During some of these outings I also visited and gambled at the ten or so local casinos. 
      My attraction, to gambling was not a "compulsion" to me at that time, but, looking back, it was an unhealthy attraction and had been such for years.  I also recall that, though the casino visits were not a "secret" mission, they were not a topic of discussion during "what did you do today, Dear?", and I also know that the money that I selfishly gambled could have been better enjoyed for family events — prior to this new family life, the money I gambled was my "discretionary spending funds".
      During our time together as a family, when Annie was off work and Maeva did not have school, we lived ordinary lives with normal daily happenings: Maeva’s playtime, her social time with her friends and her taking different lessons and classes; a few nights out for our own social life; occasional visits with friends; and, a few gatherings with Annie’s co-workers.  Of course a lot of these "ordinary" events were not so ordinary to me, but were entirely new and exciting experiences being shared in land with a much different look at life then that of the overly fast pace one that is dominate in the US. Sorry for getting off-track about gambling here but, just a personal observation and note along this line: Overtime and "IMHO", I did notice the gradual changes in the slow-paced lifestyle and erosion of "family-time" brought about by (what I term as Americanization or Capitalism) the extended shopping hours and inclusion of more and more businesses being open during holidays and on Sundays whereby families could no longer be together on these days because one or more member now had to work. — Now back to gambling.
      We stayed home a lot, took short one-day adventures (my favorites being frequent evening B-B-Q’s on the beach and the International Firework Competitions on Friday nights during the summer months), went on a few week-end excursions, took our vacations, and simply enjoyed life — notice that there were no casino references in the family activities.  During one family trip I did go off one afternoon on my own to the casino in Switzerland while the rest of the family went to the lake beach; this was to fulfill my desire of visiting exotic casinos. I can now recognize this abnormal desire as nothing less then another straw added by me while on my path toward compulsive gambling.  
       
      Then came 911 and the attack on the US.  This event changed my life, I can only speculate to the reasons it affected me in the way it did. I didn’t know any of the victims or their families, nor did I have to deal with the consequences in a up-close or personal manor. I know that mine was a quite normal reaction, and that the attack affected many, many, people around the world, some more then others and some less; and that this unbearable intrusion on my life was no different in intensity to that of others ("Bad is bad, even when it is "better than."), but my being away from the target, safe in a foreign land, so to speak, gave me a guilt that weighed heavily on me. I could not sleep, I had to stay up late and be awake early each morning for the live news from the States, and then stay glued for any further events throughout the day. 
      I did experience a lot of support and compassion form my local friends and from family and friends far away in the States, and even from strangers here recognizing me as an American  — I never saw any of the resentment from the French that the American news portrayed as existing during the Iraq invasion. (on the contrary, the French I came in contact with, still hold America in high regard for their liberation during WWII)  I did ,however, notice a hidden concern, shown by my wife through our conversations, of resentment directed toward her (she has Arab features) from some of her high-school students that knew that she was married to an American.  She had quite a few students that were from ArabMuslim cultures, and they did have and showed resentment toward Americans. The concern for the safety of my wife and daughter caused me additional stress. This and the guilt I felt put me in such a depressed state, that I thought I had no option other then to run away to save my life and that of my family. There was no want or desire for me to leave on my wife’s part, and I truthfully did not want go, I felt I had to leave, that I had no choice; If I had only sought out counseling at the time I would not have left. And on this same note, if I had received counseling after a closely following tragedy, Hurricane Katrina, I may have been able to return then. With counseling at those times, I really believe that I would not be in the compulsive state I am in now. I would still have had the unhealthy attraction to gambling, and that might have brought me here eventually, but this I will never know.
      After deserting my family, all the time I spent away before I realized my mistake, the miles and ocean between us, the pull of my local family and friends, plus my foolish pride prevented me from returning.  Now our divorce is almost final and our only contact, other then between me and our daughter for her birthdays and holidays, has reverted back to the email; email that once kept us together way back when, but now keeps us apart. My daughter feels deserted, and I can only hope and prey that she will have a better understanding later on in life.  My memories of our life together and my love for them, although still ever constant, are slowing becoming "worn and faded" like Maeva’s Beanie Baby, but also like it, they still provide me comfort and a reason to continue.
       
      Well Kathryn, you said you would like to know a little more about my French family. I took this as concern and that you were not being nosy. But, be careful what you ask for. Writing the things you are about to receive in reply, is a tremendous load off my mind, I only wish it was me awaking from a bad dream instead.
      The effect Katrina had on me will have to come at another time.  There is one good thing about today, it is my Day48 of being gambling free, this is not a normally recognized milestone, but I wanted to close with a happy thought.
      God bless you and best wishes on your journey.
       
       
      Larry

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
      — 9/29/2009 11:29:43 PM: post edited by paul315.– 9/30/2009 12:47:49 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21048
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Wow, you have an amazing memory and a great way of telling a story, if only there was a fairytale ending?
      Firstly, well done on your 48 days, that is a fantastic effort.  As for your family, im so sorry things have turned out the way they have, i went off the rails when my father died when i was 16, and must agree that if only counselling was sought, things may have been very different, but alas, they are not.
      Things happen in our lives for a reason, well, thats my belief.  I also believe that something good comes from something bad, i have learnt that the hard way in the past few months.  I remember September 11, its my birthday, so its hard to forget, but i remember my husband running in the room screaming that America had been bombed.  I cried for hours, thinking that the end of the world was nigh.
      No, i was not being nosy, i do have genuine concern for each and every person here, and im so pleased you were able to write your story.  Regardless of what is happening, i take a little of each and every post i recieve and read here and it becomes a part of my recovery, so i will thank you for sharing your life.  I have to say though, i am thinking of your daughter and her little beanie baby, that bought tears to my eyes. 
      I hope you get the opportunity to one day tell her your story, she may not understand, but she may gain some insight into her daddy, from what im reading here, you will be able to explain in a way she will understand. Im sure she holds some secret special memories of you underneath her hurt. 
      Take care Larry, thank you for replying, if nothing else it may be a small weight off your shoulders to get it out and you may feel a little lighter today. As for me, im still fighting the good fight, trying to live every day as best i can, and the simple fact im not gambling makes each day better than the one before.  We all have our own crosses to bear, but isnt it nice to be able to come here, be accepted for us, understood and supported.  Im certainly sending you all those things.
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxFighting the good fight…One day at a time

    • #21049
      p
      Participant

      Hi there
      Just wanted to pop in and say thank you SO much for your thoughts for me.  I was looking on Veras post wondering if she was coming back and i saw your message.  I bawled my eyes out.  Thank you so much for remembering me and your encouragement.  I am struggling so badly with my emotions right now and reading your words really really helped me so thank you.  You are doing great by the way keep going. 
      P

    • #21050
      cat1177
      Participant

      Larry,
      I am new to this site and posting – although not new to CG as I have been a CG for 5 years.  Your story was gut-wrenching.  I know that you said that you left your wife and daughter "for them"…how has their life been better because you are not in it?  Because you believe you would have destroyed them with your gambling?  Or because you believe being an American would have hurt them more than not having a husband and father.  I am just curious – trying to figure that out.  I am always intrigued by the thought process of people who are CG like me.  As I look back over my own life and the choices I have made myself – I often wonder if they were truly motivated by me trying to help or protect someone I loved – or if they were truly motivated out of a sense of guilt, self-loathing, craving for my insane desire to gamble, or flight.  People often talk about that "flight or fight" phenomenom whereby in high stress most people choose to either flght or flight.  Fight, as in conflict or fighting to keep something together is so much harder than flight.  Flight is the easy road in the beginning, but ultimately comes back to haunt us all the more.
      Example:
      My gambling had gotten so bad that I was threatening suicide, stealing regularly, depleting my families savings, lying constantly, rarely putting in a 40 hour week at work, disappearing regularly, picking fights with my husband so I could go gamble and on and on and on.  The noose was tightening around my neck…people were confronting me and my behaviour was seen as very odd by my co workers – I believe I was going to be fired.  And then something happened – I was offered a position a couple of states away.  It meant uprooting my husband and leaving all of our family including my son and his new wife.  We are 5 hours away – but it seems like 5 continents away.  I thought I would get a new start – but all that has happened is I just travel farther to get the rush of gambling.  I don’t go everyday like I was before – but I go as often as I can and I still lie and I still steal and my family is far away from me.  I told myself that my move was helping my family as I would not be close to a casino and I fessed up to taking the savings to my husband etc.  I thought it would be a new start – but all it has been so far is more deceit and lies.
      In hindsight – I believe what would have been best for me was to find a site like this – begin attending meetings and tough it out instead of leaving my family.  It’s never too late to right a wrong – and although your situation is different than mine – I wonder if perhaps the motivations weren’t the same…..
      I miss my family too – so much.
      Thanks for letting me rant on a Sat. morning and bless you in your recovery.  I am two days clean….
       Bloom where you are planted.

    • #21051
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by cat1177

      Larry,
      … I know that you said that you left your wife and daughter "for them"…how has their life been better because you are not in it?  Because you believe you would have destroyed them with your gambling?  Or because you believe being an American would have hurt them more than not having a husband and father.  I am just curious – trying to figure that out. … 
      Bloom where you are planted.
      Hi Cat, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was on Aug 13, 2009.
      Thanks for your post, I saw your new topic yesterday but didn’t get around to post to you.  I have read your post and find variations to the reasons and outcomes to all of us and our shared problem.  And though our gambling problem is shared, you will find the suggested directions for traveling on our path to successes to be just as varied.  One must-do-action we all have in common is to proceed One Day At A Time.  We need a daily pledge and sincere commitment not to gamble for that day.
      To answer your question above:  First, no, their life, nor mine, has not been better by my leaving. I am thankful that they have moved on; I have not, the gambling outgrowth from my depression has prevented me a normal life.
      In the part where I mention the concern for my family, I was trying to show the added stress that the resentment toward them put on my already stressed out state, not to imply that I left for their safety.  I ran because I could not deal with my depression and feared for my own life — fear of it ending by my own hand, not by others. I should have sought counseling.
      My depression or leaving was not because of my gambling, my compulsive gambling manifested itself later, after an additional stressful event, and continued to grow the following few years. During this period I didn’t bother with trying to get back with my wife, I was lost in the world of gambling and the relief it gave.  I see now that therapy for this depression, would have eliminated my "need" for leaving, and may have even prevented my gambling compulsion; or brought it’s dormant tendencies out during that counseling and allowed me to address it before gambling took over my life.
      Thanks for giving me the opening to vent some more.
      Best of wishes and God’s speed on your journey. 
       
       
      Larry

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       
      — 10/4/2009 12:48:57 PM: post edited by paul315.– 10/4/2009 12:50:50 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21052
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Thanks for your post to me over the weekend.  It was a busy one, filled with activities for my boys (birthday party, movie with their friends, homework, etc).  Throw in my usual litany of laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning and you have one fast-paced, blur of a weekend.  Anyway, hope you enjoyed yours and that all is well on your side.
      Thanks for your wishes on Day 70.  I look forward to the next 70 with the hope that it will be somewhat easier than the first.  I’ve been surprised that the last 10 have been as difficult as the first 10.  But as Nancy says:  If it is to be, it is up to me.  Trite, but so very true.
      All the best for a wonderful week ahead doing happy, healthy things that you enjoy.
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21053
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315My Answers to Gamblers Anonymous’ Twenty Questions:

      " … I answered yes to more then the seven that seams to be the cut off, so I guess that I am a compulsive gambler in need of help. … To tell the truth, I didn’t have to take the test to know. …"
      Revisiting Gamblers Anonymous’ Twenty Questions:
       
      During each GA meeting we are encouraged to constantly review the aspects of their program. One of which is the "Twenty Questions"; I had understode this to mean, ask the questions anew with answers pertaining to your now "gambling free" life vs. your past one. These results would show the progress you have made.  In fact, this may be what this process is for.
      Last night at a meeting I answered these questions still using my past as the bases.  The results were the same as my first test, the conclusion had not changed; I am still a Compulsive Gambler.   And as I said in my first post, "To tell the truth, I didn’t have to (re)take the test to know".  However, retaking this test did reaffirm my need for my continuing daily commitment and pledge, not to gamble today, and my need for the support I find here.
      Thank you Fellow Gamblers for taking my hand, for understanding, and being my friend.
            "Fellow gambler, take my hand;

             I’m your friend, I understand.

             I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;

             I’ve borne the burden of your cross.

             I found a friend who offered ease;

             He suffered, too, with this disease.

             Although he had no magic cure,

             He showed how we could endure.

             We walked together side by side;

             We spoke of things we had to hide.

             We told of sleepless nights and debts,

             Of broken homes and lies and threats.

             And so my weary gambler friend,

             Please take this hand that I extend.

             Take one more chance on something new,

             Another gambler helping you."

       
       
      Larry

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       — 10/6/2009 2:01:52 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21054
      vera
      Participant

      thanks Larry,
      You have come such a long way!
       all the sevens

    • #21055
      paul315
      Participant

       
                        Two  Month  Key Ring                    
      Hi, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was on August 13, 2009.  Through the help of God and my Fellow Gamblers, I have reached a two month milestone and received Gamblers Anonymous’ Day Glow White key ring.  As with my red and yellow ones, I will use it as a reminder that it holds the key to my recovery.  And while acknowledging this milestone, I am celebrating being gambling free for another day and extending my commitment by pledging not to gamble today – it is A One Day At A Time process.
      I am now living a better and happier life by: enjoying friends and family instead of making up excuses; not denying myself other activities so that I can rush to the casino for overextended stays; shopping for essential household items for cleaning and upkeep – and using them; shopping for food so that I can prepare meals instead of just eating out of a can or microwaved container; and not having every single thing that I see reminding be of a theme from a slot machine.  These are enjoyments that come natural to most everyone, simple pleasures and necessities that are absent during a life of compulsive gambling. Also absent was the money needed for such things, I now have some money left between my paydays to allow this, and money to pay off my past gambling debts – six more months and this part will be over. 
      I can once again say "Life is Good". 
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       — 10/13/2009 3:33:48 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21056
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Well done on passing the two month mark. The Key to Recovery is a thoughtul idea. Never heard of it before.
      Thanks for posting to my thread. As Harry rightly pointed out on ZigZag’s thread,anxiety about debt, has a negative effect on REAL recovery.
      If my debt was wiped out I feel, I’d be free. It is soul-destroying to have my salary passing through my account into repayments. On the otherhand, if it were still passing through my account to slot machines, it would be so much worse.
      I’ve been thinking of the positives!
      1.I have a well paid job.
      2 I never missed a payment because of the "standing order" set up with the bank.
      3. Every month (when I don’t gamble), my payments are one less. The loans are based on a 60 month period.
      The negatives are,
      1. My repayments are too high.
      2.The government levies are increasing, so working overtime is no longer a solution.
      3. The stress of owing money is driving me crazy.
      As you say, directing my anger towards gambling is better than blaming myself or the banks.
      I will have to try another route to consolidate though, even if it takes longer to repay. The credit union are considering my application but want me to build my shares up to 12 grand! Not a hope!
      I found a Mortgage company that will allow us to re mortgage but, since my husband was the one to pay off every penny of our mortgage by hard work, I feel it would be very unfair of meto ask him to give up his mortgage free status.
      He really does not see gambling as an illness and cannot understand how anyone in their right mind would put money into a machine and expect to get it back again.
      He goes crazy over the credit card debt and says " so what" that I am paying almost all my salary. " You can’t have your cake and eat it " is his attitude, so "pay up and shut up"!
      I do blame him partly for my dilemma because I begged him about 4 years ago to help me quit. I went to GA and asked him to go to GAM ANON but he said it was my problem, not his. I begged him to hold my ATM card. He "forgot" and gave it back. I asked him to come for walks, meals, cinema , short holidays etc, but he did so with such derision that the lack of enjoyment would drive a miser to gambling.I think he prefers me to gamble!
      So, until I get my finances sorted, I will continue with a " stinted" form of recovery!
      Better than gambling all the same!
       all the sevens

    • #21057
      paul315
      Participant

      Also posted on the "FOR VERA" thread.
      Re: FOR VERA
      Originally posted by vera

      "… He really does not see gambling as an illness and cannot understand how anyone in their right mind would put money into a machine and expect to get it back again.
      He goes crazy over the credit card debt and says " so what" that I am paying almost all my salary. " You can’t have your cake and eat it " is his attitude, so "pay up and shut up"!
      I do blame him partly for my dilemma because I begged him about 4 years ago to help me quit. I went to GA and asked him to go to GAM ANON but he said it was my problem, not his. I begged him to hold my ATM card. He "forgot" and gave it back. I asked him to come for walks, meals, cinema , short holidays etc, but he did so with such derision that the lack of enjoyment would drive a miser to gambling.I think he prefers me to gamble! …"
      all the sevens
      I am sitting here reading the part of your post to me about your husband and a couple of things come to mind (not counting my thinking about how much time I spend being logged-on).  First, your disappointments in his reactions to your situation is shared with us in a civil way; Opposed to some remarks that seam to lean toward  "spouse bashing" — afterall, we did force our spouses, friends and family members into having to react to and live with our lifestyle choices.  Perhaps your disappointment in his attitude is based on your need for support; and his reactions may be "tuff love" or self preservation.  Whatever the difference, keep working it out together.
      My last statement leads into my second thought on your remarks.  While reading the post here I am taking a break from compiling the last of the documents needed for me to file for an unwanted but necessary divorce, you on the other hand, have someone still with you – keep working it out together.
      As I have written before, gambling was not the cause of our separation, but my succumbing to the escape from the causes that gambling offered, did contribute heavily to our forthcoming divorce.  I wasted far too much time being away from both our home and our problems, while acquiring and giving into my selfish gambling compulsion, to allow for any conciliation. I guess you can say that I gambled my life away — there is a whole lot more then money that we allow gambling to take from us.  Things that cannot be replaced or paid off in a year or two.
      Keep on your journey to a gambling free life.  When only two of the sevens appear, this is one place where you can and must keep trying.
      Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21058
      vera
      Participant

      Thanks for your post Larry.
      It’s so easy to gamble one’s life away!
      Will we ever discover what we have been trying to escape from?
      I’m so sorry that you have to deal with the trauma of divorce. i couldn’t even bear to think of that.
      Although my husband is distant and non-communicative, he is , as you say , THERE!
      That means a lot!
      I often wonder does he prefer me to be here or in the casino!
      He has never given me a straight answer to that question!
       all the sevens

    • #21059
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Thanks so much for remembering me.  I really feel like there is hope for me when there are people like you who are offering support while going through this yourself.  I am so grateful.  You have really encouraged me.  It makes me feel ike i am not alone so thank you
      P

    • #21060
      female g
      Participant

      good job Larry and well done for sure.  You sound strong and that’s really something considering what you are facing at the moment.  That’s encouraging for sure thanks G

    • #21061
      vera
      Participant

      Thanks for the reminder Larry!
      I’m keeping my cents (and my euro ). Not hard tonight, but when I see crisp notes, straight from the ATM, I think,       " These would slide perfectly into a slot machine"..
      but they won’t !
      I’m sticking to my guns!
       all the sevens

    • #21062
      paul315
      Participant

      Collateral Damage
      Last week I had a ruff day, I was finally doing the paperwork for my divorce.  In doing so I had to get some financial information from my wife.  The information she sent came as a blow to me and kicked in some guilt feelings.  She is now reduced to working part time and had to mortgage her home. Now the mortgage payments and fewer hours has thrown her deep into the financial crises that many of us face. 
      Her information brought to light an added aftermath of my gambling. If I would have only addressed my depression at the time instead of escaping from it by gambling, blindly allowing time and inattentiveness to destroy our relationship, there is a good chance that I would have returned to our home and the two of use would now be in a better position to face this problem together.   Now I have to live with the knowledge that, though maybe not entirely directly, compulsive gambling also added to this problem of her’s.
      Another realization of how later results of gambling affects my current life came about this same week.  This example is far less serious with a whole lot less impact then the events above, but, nevertheless it is an added consequence of my gambling.  I wanted very much to attend the wedding of a friend in New Orleans.  For me to go I would have to take off work an spend extra money for my trip.  With my current tight budget, that is set up to pay off my gambling debts and bad checks, I could not afford to absorb the extra expense and loss of income without putting me in a next-to-nothing financial position for the next couple of months.  I am afraid that having to live from day to day would give me too much of a temptation to gamble again, to try to supplement my reduced income.  Another temptation that it would place in my path would be gambling while in New Orleans, gambling for gambling, not for the chase of elusive winnings.
      The year between my leaving France and my family, and Hurricane Katrina forcing me to Saint Louis, is the time that my compulsion reared its ugly head.  During this time my visits to the down-the-street casino became almost daily and playing the video poker machines in the bars and restaurants was a daily happening with multiple visits each day, eating away all of my income, time and sanity.  
      While the casino would not be a draw for me, I think that the poker machines in the bars might prove to be a problem. I got to where I would have what I called my $10 drinks.  For each drink I had, and this was quite a few most days, I would pay a couple of dollars for a drink and the other eight would go into the poker machine.  When I won, if it was a small amount, the winning would go back into the machine; if a larger amount, I would walk down the few blocks to the casino and gamble it away, plus a lot more by casing a check to win back what I lost. Therefore, my past gambling has denied me a pleasant trip to a friends wedding.
      I know now that I will probably encounter more after affects and will have to deal with that guilt as it happens ; The Collateral and Resulting Damage of gambling is a dreadful truth. 
       
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.– 10/27/2009 4:28:20 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21063
      paul315
      Participant

       WARNINGS!
      While sitting here reading today’s post the local City Wide Disaster Warning System test are being conducted.  The sirens blare and the announcement is made to all in the community over loudspeakers.  This time it is only the monthly test but it gets the attention of most who hear it. 
      In addition to these public service warnings for disasters, we in the States are bombarded with warnings on cigarette packaging and ads, warning on alcohol, warnings on wearing seat belts and helmets, even warnings and notices to "Save the Planet"; but the only warnings we have that vaguely advise us of the perils of gambling, are subtle announcements and notations from the gambling establishment themselves — no clear warnings of the Clear and Present Dangers of Gambling.
      I may or may not have heeded any more stimulating warnings, if they existed, before I was trapped; but I do now listen to and follow the prominent warnings that we who have fell into that trap receive from those who try to help us recover after the fact.
      Thanks to these Fellow Gamblers and organizations, I am doing OK, nearing my three month milestone, and enjoying a better life; so thanks to all of you for your warnings and help.
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       — 11/2/2009 10:17:39 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21064
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hey Larry,
      Thanks again for posting on my thread yesterday – it meant a lot.
      I’m really sorry to learn that you’re not able to go to your friends’ wedding, but I applaud your logic for not going: leaving yourself too tight on money for so long would have been a terrible strain on your morale.
      Besides, I’m sure your friends would hate to have played some part of jeopardising you recovery (however unwittingly!).
      I think you’ve made a wise – and tough – choice, so well done!
      All my best to you Larry,
      Shakey.

    • #21065
      paul315
      Participant

      OPENNESS:
      I was on the Advice Line talking about my fashioning my post to be less controversial.  I find myself keeping some things to myself that in themselves do not cause me harm or temp me to digress, but these actions and thoughts do veer away from the true Gambling Free creed.  Yes, I am still gambling free, my last bet still being Aug 13, 2009,  but I do find myself disregarding some of the restraints placed before me.  I do not disagree with or challenge their validity, I only find that I can function better at this stage of my recovery without them.
      I admire members like G (working at it,female g) who is completely open with her disagreement to the "Stopping-Not-Controlling" mandate –not her practicing it, but her openness about it –, and to tell the truth, or to be open, I believe that it just might work with a few, but know that I am not one and would not recommend it for anyone, and as in the case with G, try to discourage it; and, I also admire Shakey with his "Comment Meeting Type" Addicted to internet poker and need help" topic open for general discussion and his "No Comment Type" (VERY) Dear Diary  private one, where he speaks of matters that may go against the tide or seem off base and ask for no replies.
      My actions go against GA’s guideline for members, in fact each of by deviations are contrary to this section:  The Yellow Combo Book pg 17, par 3,  Don’t test or tempt yourself. Don’t associate with acquaintances who gamble. Don’t go in or near gambling establishments…
      Well now for my withheld comments:
      First I would like to say that one of the casinos that I was addicted to has put in place another barrier toward temptation for me.  I have been visiting them during my Gambling Free Journey to collect on cash back rewards and meal coupons. Today I had my last "free" meal and withdrew the last funds in my account. I am still doing this at two other casinos, but they will soon put an end to their temptations also.
      I will still visit for their buffets (my paying directly now) but they are separated from the action and desiring to gamble after eating has not been a problem, at least for now and if it ever is I will stop.  I do have to go into the casino to collect my money (and I do consider these funds, around $1500 during the past few months, mine; The money that I gambled went into a variety of places, casino profit, overhead and operations, payouts, and very lastly, my account – percentages in that order, but the casinos do somehow claim that around 98.8%  is paid out in winnings.) but I do not find any draw for me to gamble. I do have my player cards attached to my GA keyring for a reminder, but there is no struggle for me to walk in, withdraw my funds, and walk out – in the past I would gamble about 10 times as much in addition to this amount. 
      In addition to collecting my cash back amounts and dining, I still go to a casino once a week to be picked up by my daughter.  This is something that I will not stop either. I also still see friends who gamble, but they are considerate of my position; I even know a GA person who is a dealer at a casino — but I also have friends who are AA and tend bar.
      These are my secrets, they are not bad in my eyes, but withholding them has been bothering me.
      My other worry is that I am doing too well, I have no desire to gamble, even while being in the fiery furnace I feel protected.  This seems to me as my being boastful, but I am only being grateful.  Without my 3 G’s, God, GT, and GA, and the individual members, I would not be at this stage.  To counter my feeling on this I keep one of Ken L’s offerings handy:
       
      Today I Pray
      God, please tell me if I am banging my shins on my own pride. Luckily for me, the Gamblers Anonymous Program has its own built-in check for flaws like this – the clear-eyed vision of the group, which sees in me what I sometimes cannot see myself. May I know that any kind of success has always gone straight to my head, and be watching for it as I begin to reconstruct my confidence.

      Today I Will Remember
      Smug "success" can become a setback.
      Well, that’s my story and I will be back.
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       
       — 11/6/2009 3:30:40 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21066
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hiya Larry,
      Your honesty and openess about this addiction and your dealings with it makes for a very interesting read, i do really enjoy it.  I think we all have our own way to deal with compulsive gambling and i for one believe that whatever works…do it.  We are all different, and have our own ways of coping, i for one, do not attend GA, not because i am embaressed, i have been to several meetings but have found that the GA way is not for me.  I really admire people, one being my sister, who live by the 12 steps and i have seen it work with my own eyes.  Personally, for me, it is not something i have delved into, i am making my own way, as are you.
      I think we all benefit from each other here, i dont think i would have ever self excluded if not for this site, i hadnt thought too much about it before coming here, although i did attend gambling counselling a few years ago and when it was mentioned i freaked out.  Not ready? I think so.
      I am glad you have spilled your ‘secrets’.  I dont think you should feel the need to withhold anything here, i take what i need from each post and move on.  You are moving forward Larry, and if you can go into a casino without gambling, well, more power to you.  I know i could not do that, but then, i am not you!  I have had your feeling of doing this too easily, but in reality i think it shows the readiness to change, the willingness to accept what we are and deal with it.  I know for me i had simply had enough and i was more than ready to give gambling the flick.  Take me back 2 years ago and there would be no way.  In saying that, my guard is constantly up, and i like it that way.  Im not going back, and from reading your posts, neither are you.  Well done.
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xx 
       Life is about falling….living is about getting up!

    • #21067
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry hows things?  Thank you for your posts to me, even though i am still in the whirlwind i know one day i will get out, you are doing great.  Good on you for your perserverance.  Your posts really do give me some upliftment sometimes
      P

    • #21068
      vera
      Participant

      Thought of you during the week Larry! Will post again when I recover from my week of nights! Officially we don’t finish til Monday morning but I was owed one from one of the guys and he’s doing tonight. Great barrier from gambling WORK/BED/BED/WORK!!!!all the sevens

    • #21069
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by vera

      Great barrier from gambling WORK/BED/BED/WORK!!!!
      It is like I have posted before. If you do it ODAAT, most of the day is taken up by Sleep, Working, and a few other time consuming requirements, thus reducing the window of opportunity for gambling to a more easily combating time frame.
      And if you do find a little extra time it is; POST/WORK/POST/BED/POST/WORK!!!!
       Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21070
      paul315
      Participant

      90 DAYS
      Hi, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, I placed my last bet on the morning of August 13, 2009.  This not only refers to a bet I placed at that time, but with the help of my 3 G’s, God, GT and GA, it also refers to my very "last bet".
      I tried countless times in the past to rid myself of the compulsive aspects of my gambling only to "slip", or FAIL, each time.  During these past attempts I tried to do it by myself using poorly though-out reasoning and elusive plans and schemes.  I have no idea how long ago my "start date" for recognizing my problem and trying these novel ways was; ways to control my gambling and not to end it. I do know that on the morning of Aug 12th, I used Google to seek out a better way.  I found Gambling Therapy, read a few post, saw hope, and signed up.
      A few hours later on that very evening, I went out and "celebrated", foolishly thinking that
      since I started a recovery program that I could gamble and control my actions; I slipped. After that all-night disastrous binge, following through into the next morning, on the afternoon of Aug 13, I came back to the GT site and searched deeper and with a more sincere and determined mind set. I met a lot of others here and was introduced to Gamblers Anonymous. Since that day, my "official start date" 90 days ago, and my first meeting at GA a few days later, my Fellow Gamblers have not failed me nor have I slipped again.
      Using methods that work, and depending on others while adhering to a strong and daily commitment, My Daily Pledge, strengthen by the help of God, I was able to put gambling behind me. I was able to start on my journey, not going away from my compulsion, but rather heading toward a brighter future.  Once on this path, my journey opened my eyes to a renewed relationship with God and to other aspects of my life that was in need of repair. As stressed in GA, we have to "work the steps" every day, using these tools for both our recovery and for other self improvements; to depend on prayer and meditation, not just ourselves, to return to a much better and gambling free life; and, to do it One Day At A Time.
      The help and encouragement I have found here is immeasurable.  The topics with all the discussions and feedback concerning ways to stay gambling free may differ between each of us and individual practices and beliefs may change from time to time, and may even deviate from the principles of the different help groups, BUT, this stuff works; it keeps us aware of our needs and goals; it keeps us on a progressive march (even during various slips or detours it always keeps us going in a forward direction); it gives us the help we need and allows us at the same time a possible means to help others; and, if we continue to use it, will give us back the life each of us deserve.
      At the begaining of this post is my "90 Day" key ring from GA, and like my other ones from past milestones, it may look empty but it holds the keys to my success.  I have to use these keys to unlock the locks, but I need each of you to help open the doors so I accept this offer: "…And so my weary gambler friend, please take this hand that I extend.  Take one more chance on something new,  Another gambler helping you", and extend the same in return.
      In closing, I take the hands of all my Fellow Gamblers and make my Daily Pledge – I shall not gamble today.
      Larry"Day Two Is Now, Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21071
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry just popping in to say hi and congratulations on such a success.  You are going great!  Keep it up it is inspiring to see.  im only at day 8 but feeling great
      P

    • #21072
      kathryn
      Participant

      Well done Larry, 90 days is wonderful, keep up the good work.
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxLife is about falling….living is about getting up!

    • #21073
      vera
      Participant

      You really have done great Paul. It’s not easy but it’s worth all the effort. Any plans for Christmas or is it too far away?all the sevens

    • #21074
      paul315
      Participant

      MONTH 3 – DAY 2
      In writing about my one month milestone, I first posted comments on the day before. For the second, I followed up with a post on the day after.  To day I will also fellow up on yesterday’s post, but in a different tone then the one in October.  (It is obvious that Day 2 has a significant association to my recovery, but I have again evolved into a more positive view of it -I now close my post with "Day Two is another day behind" instead of the "Still a day away" in past closings and in my topic title; I was going to close this topic and start a new one with the "day behind" change but realize that there are more changes to come, so I will just stick with this old one.)
      This morning I was reading the email, Today’s Gift – 11/14/2009, from Kin L. The last line of his reflections: "…Today I will be gentle with myself, knowing that I’m exactly where I need to be – free.", reminded me of a time some years ago when a friend was going through Primal Scream therapy. She had me read a few books on the process to help me understand her feelings – I already understood her, so I guess my reading was more her way of sharing her problems.
      In one section of the books, the subject was about the type of life one could have by following this process. She could not understand it when I told her that I did not have to search for that goal, that I was already there – I was free of these primal burdens.  At the time I had no idea that my future would hold psychological problems for myself. Now reflecting back, I can see that we (I) can all fall from our life of control into one of turmoil, and how we all need help to overcome it once we fall.
      All of this leads to me being able to say that once again I can point to a page in a book that talks about being free and say that at this stage of my life  "I am exactly where I need to be – free".  I left out the "exactly" adjective of Ken’s post because I know that I have a long way to go.  I still need the help of my 3 G’s to stay free and progress further on my journey to return to a better life..  Above I mention the significant association of Day 2 to my recovery, my vague reference to this is progress for me, when I am ready to accept the true meaning of it, I will once again be exactly where I need to be.  Until then I will enjoy all the blessings and freedom that has been bestowed upon me, at least the ones that I can manage to hold onto and not throw away.
      God’s speed to all my Fellow Gamblers. 
       
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Now, Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       — 11/17/2009 3:09:50 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21075
      flowers
      Participant

         paul your right be happy for the moment your in because time passes quickly relish the the simple everyday things  we take for granted and youll life we be filled with riches beyond your beleifs
        flowers

    • #21076
      paul315
      Participant

      "Reasons To Quit" vs. All the reasons why!
      There is a song that claims "all the reasons for quitin’ dont outnumber all the reasons why", it also list a few of the "quitin’ reasons" and acknowledges the fact that they do get bigger each day. The addictions to quit that are sang about does not include gambling, but although gambling is not mentioned it fits in just the same. In the song the characters fail to grasp the need to quit, they just keep "… Havin fun and never thinkin’; Laughin’ at the price tags that we pay; and, we keep roarin down the fast lane like two young men feelin no pain …". These addicts know of the problems and the consequences caused by their addictions and I believe that they actually feel the pain it causes (they just "keep roarin down the fast lane like two young men feelin no pain"), they just choose to keep on their destructive path. 
       
      I am telling myself the things below because, although I post a simple pledge each day and even encourage others to do so, I feel that some days the simple effort might be from habit – -or more precise out-of-habit; the habit part is not bad. I have added a few words from time to time to change it up, or I may comment on other pledges; and, I read all the post for that day – noting the days-free notations and different styles that shows them to be a concentrated effort. This does help keep my post a concentrated effort as well, but my writing these analogies of travel below (they are to long for my occasional comments in the Daily Pledge thread) makes me more aware. Thanks to all who may read it, and I hope that you may also get something out of it.
       
      Fortunately for me the reasons to quit finally outnumbered all the reasons why and I was able to put gambling’s fast lane behind and go forward on a normal path toward the real me. There are a lot of forks in the road, but I know that they all lead to a dead end. And at each crossroad I have to decide which direction is best for me; do I keep going forward or do I venture off in a different direction, or even perhaps turn around and return to a fork thinking that it may have been a good route after all?  I do not have a road map for my journey, only a destination in mind. True there are many travel guides and road sighs with warnings of the road conditions or distant attractions, but what actually lies ahead is not shown. I have to continue on my journey using what I can trust the most; my knowledge of the detrimental past and faith in the direction that I have been traveling, so I choose to go forward – I again choose and pledge not to gamble today.
      On my path there will be pitfalls and bumps in the road; but as long as I continue on my forward journey and deal with these obstacles as they arise, and not try to avoid the difficulties that they present by returning to the false and fleeting comforts of my past mistakes, I will still be progressing. There will also be detours, but these charted deviations will only help me, if I follow them and not plunge ahead into the pre-warned-of troubles.  And, if I do reach a section of the road that a detour should have been posted, I will have to travel that part in a more cautious manner, keeping in mind all of the safety measures I have been taught.
      So for me, I have put gambling’s road to destruction behind me and will keep on going forward.  And like the AAA is there for automobile trouble , my GGG is here for me when I run into recovery troubles. I am also reminded in today’s "Reflection for the Day" to remember that any success I have today is not mine but God’s? for:

      “Nothing is enough to the man for whom enough is too little,” wrote the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Now that we’re free from gambling, and are building our self-respect and winning back the esteem of family and friends, we have to avoid becoming smug about our new-found success. For most of us,success has always been a heady brew; even in our new life, it’s still possible to fall into the dangerous trap of “big-shotitis.” As insurance, we ought to remember that we’re free today only by the grace of God.

      Today I Pray
      May I keep a constant string-on-the-finger reminder that I have found freedom through the grace of God – just so I don’t let my pride try to convince me I did it all myself. May I learn to cope with success by ascribing it to a Higher Power, not to my own questionable superiority.

      Today I will Remember
      Learn to deal with success. 
      God’s speed to all my Fellow Gamblers on our joint, yet individual, journeys.
       
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Now, Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.– 11/18/2009 6:30:33 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21077
      flowers
      Participant

         we were all on a road to destruction but we all can find the path on the side of that road that will lead us to the right  road to sanity , happiness & inner peace 
                          flowers

    • #21078
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good evening Larry,
      I have finally had the chance to stop by and read most of your thread.  To thank-you in person so to speak for you unwavering support, considerate comments and inspirational thoughts.  Congratulations on your 90 days, you have worked hard to be where you are and so deserving.  And so I will quote your earlier quote "…And so my weary gambler friend, please take this hand that I extend.  Take one more chance on something new,  Another gambler helping you",
      Thank-you Larry, from the bottom of my heart, for extending your hand to this weary gambler.  Thank-you for the honesty with which you post. 
      I feel the same as Kathryn, that we each must find our own way, our own path, but the guidance and information provided by all our friends here at GT can help give us the tools to navigate our own way.  I am glad that you share your true thoughts with us all.  Your kind nature shines through in your posts on my thread.  I’m am truly grateful to have met Larry.
      May your sleep be restful tonight Larry. I am thinking of you.
      Laura

    • #21079
      vera
      Participant

      Larry, I dropped by to catch up on your thread, but my son is calling for his laptop to do some college work, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow! I’ll look forward to that! ‘Bye for now!

    • #21080
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Thanks for your post.  $100 for 1 tooth!  That is ludicrious.  My boys get $2.  I once gave my 10yo $5, if you had seen the way the tooth came out he deserved it!  I used to get 20c for a tooth, but back then you could get candy 5 for 1c.  Thats a lot of candy!!! I still dont know what happened to the tooth, i hope no one had a drink out of that glass!
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxLife is about falling….living is about getting up!

    • #21081
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      I wanted to stop in and say hi and thank you for your posts.  It’s funny every time i really need a post there seems to be one that appears.  It is just wonderful.  You are doing so well on this journey.  I think we were going to start out around the same time but i slipped up a few times.  This time i am doing better.  It has been since the 6th November for me.  I know i can make it and especially thanks to support on here. You have been part of that thanks so much
      p

    • #21082
      dianne
      Participant

      Hi Larry found your thread.  Congratulations on your success and your wonderful post, I have only read a few because it’s 12.30 in the morning, will read all in the next couple of days.  your posts are inspirational to all of us here.  Good on you.
      Dianne 

    • #21083
      paul315
      Participant

      Day 120 Gambling Free — Month Four
      Sunday,  December 13, 2009
      "Be patient!  The days and weeks will pass soon enough, and as you regularly attend meetings, abstain from gambling and follow the guidelines, you will experience continued recovery" -From GA’s Yellow Book, Instructions for New Members
      Edited to include the daily email received from Ken L, copied below. It is unbelievable that this is today’s reading and that it repeats words that I have shared in past GA meetings – I am not only not alone in my recovery, but I am not alone in my thoughts.
      Thinking back to Aug 13, I know for certainty that if on that day I would have Pledged not to gamble for four months using only my own strength, that I would most likely have not stayed gambling free past that very day, my payday, and most surely the 20th, my next one. It is easy to see how all my past futile attempts failed. I saw this same truth at my One Month milestone. There I posted: "While I am very pleased that I can make this statement today, I find it hard to believe.  I can not start to name the times that I hopelessly said that I would not gamble for one month, or for one week or even a week-end. I have also tried, and failed, to condition my gambling  until a certain event, like the next full moon, or I would only gamble if I won a hand of Solitaire, or until my next payday.  The problems with those past attempts were that; one –  they were giving me the option to gamble again, so when I slipped I merely resumed gambling earlier then planned, not failed in my goal (although, I did on occasion keep my word not to gamble until my next payday, but, when I often failed at this goal, it cost me even more in the high overdraft and returned check fees); and , two – the time frames I set, even the "one week" or "few days" restrictions, left open too big a gap for outside influences to weaken my reserve." (see addendum in p.s.below)
      Today, I again recognize my frailties during the past where I would stop and then slip, repeating this same pattern over and over. Now, and since Day Two, I find that I do not stop and slip and have to start over again; I am able to do this by not allowing myself to give in to any spur-of-the-moment urges or irrational reasonings, or to unrealistic hopes and fantasies – "My Elusive Dreams and Schemes",  — not allowing myself to succumb to the relentless drawing power of gambling or to be sidetracked from my efforts, not allowing myself to gamble for only that one day – One Day At A Time.
      I say I do this by not allowing myself to gamble; this is true for I believe that we are in control of our actions and we make the choices. While saying this I also recognize that sometimes, and even often, this control is weaken by outside influences that results in us making imponderable choices. But, by turning our behaviors over to our Higher Power and with using the necessary help from others, these unexplainable events will diminish, and with time, be a part of our past.
      The strength I need comes from God, the help I need comes from all of you, my Fellow Gambles.
      God bless you all. 
       p.s.:today’s email from ken L:  
      Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

      You have to live on this 24 hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your mortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of highest urgency.
      –Arnold Bennett

      We have 24 hours to accomplish all we need tor mental, physical, and spiritual growth. Just because morning meditations have been read, the work or school day is completed, and the day is waning doesn’t mean growth time is over.

      The first 12 hours of a day are usually spent housecleaning, raising children, working, running errands, and so on. By the time the activities have ended, we’re ready for the second 12 hours: contemplation, relaxation, communication with family and friends, socializing, eating dinner, going to a meeting, sleeping.

      Our most effective use of each day means believing we can accomplish something. There is time to be grateful for each day’s experiences. There is time to build relationships with ourselves and others. Each day there is time to grow.
      I did add to my simular words, that this leaves very little time to gamble; to have more gambling time, we have to deprive ourselves of sleep and the responcibilities and happyness in everyday life.
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Now, Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.
       — 12/13/2009 6:30:19 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21084
      howanan
      Participant

      Thank you Larry for your words of widom on my thread.  They are much appreciated.  You showed me that I can still offer encouragement even when I thought I had nothing to give…….NancyThere is magic all around us.  All we need do is stop and take notice.  There is no charge for admission.  You don’t need any special equipment.  The good Lord provides us with this incredible spectacle each day.  All we have to do is show up for it…….

    • #21085
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Congratulations Larry on reaching this mile stone ODAAT. 
      So glad that I have found GT and have met such woderful caring people with which to share our journeys of recovery.
      May you have a happy gamble free day.
      laura

    • #21086
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      You are doing soooooooo well!  Good on you, you are very inspirational.  I love some of the stuff you write.  You know what i loved in your post was a line about scheming and reasoning that we do when we gamble i had to laugh at that though it is not funny but i can look at my mind going through all the reasoning i did, and the excuses i would find and the slips.  Thank you so much for posting to me at times too, you really have helped with your words of encouragement
      Thank you thank you
      P

    • #21087
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Heartiest congratulations on your four months of gamble-free time.  Or should I say four months of really living?  It is a wonderful achievement.
      Thank you for your post on my thread … I enjoy your thoughts and discoveries.  I honestly had not thought of the point of no return in the context that you shared.  But you’re right, there is a positive point of no return as well … one I may have reached in what seems like an endless journey.
      Last Monday, when I felt like a spectacular failure, I had a moment of acceptance.  Acceptance that this is my journey and acceptance that it is my willfulness that has made my journey so hard.  So, now I go forward knowing that every decision I make has an impact on this journey.  I choose daily whether it will be a good experience or a bad one.  I got a great deal from your post a few days ago about patience with the one day at a time process.  It is so very true.  It’s the immature, need for immediate gratification of this compulsion that makes us so impatient for change.  So, now I will try to slow down, to be grateful for each, single day that I don’t gamble.
      My husband and I just had another argument about money.  This has been going on for a few years.  Gambling is not the cause of our financial stresses … being entrepreneurs is a risky proposition, especially these days.  But had I not gambled (actually had WE not gambled), the stress would have been that much less.
      One thing I have only recently acknowledged is that gambling is certainly not enjoyment for me.  It is sickening and stressful and soul destroying.  I hope never to forget that in the frenzy of urges.
      Keep going on path … you’ve certainly turned out to be a great leader on this forum.
      All the best.
      RG  This moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21088
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Thank you for your post.  I am posting like mad these days to keep me afloat but nonetheless i am floating.  Away from that destructive gambling demon.  Your posts make me think and are really inspirational.  You have done marvellously well on your 4 months i can see your progress too.  Going from slips to a steady day by day flow of life.  Im joining in too, i dont want any slips (i understand they can happen) but i dont want any.  On with the flow Larry thank you for being there
      P

    • #21089
      paul315
      Participant

        A "RECOVERED" GAMBLER 
      I just received word that my brother has died, or that his spirit has now left him; as I mentioned in Group this week, he had a massive heart attack Monday morning that left him brain dead.
      This is the brother I wrote about that give me such a hard time when I told him about my compulsive gambling problem – the one who showed me tuff love.  The brother that I later learned had, and overcame a gambling problem, 50 years ago becoming a Recovering Gambler living a gambling free life.
       
      But most important, he was a brother who taught me so many things and gave me so much of his life, things that I could never repay. A brother who I loved dearly.
      This may seem like a strange place for a eulogy for him, but this site is part of my life and the tribute to his being gambling free after combating this disease on his own (before GA or GT) is the one I need to share here. My other tributes will relate to his world.
      He is no longer a RCG, he left a "Recovered" person and a Child of God.
      God bless his family.
       Larry"Day Two Is Now, Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21090
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Larry:  My thoughts are with you tonight as you grieve the loss of a beloved brother. There is a special bond between brothers that I will not pretend to understand.  Just know that I am thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers. 
      What a wonderful legacy your brother has left you (and inadvertently all of us at GT). Besides all the love and childhood memories you share, he has given you the hope that this terrible affliction can be overcome.  Thank you for sharing this with us … it has given me renewed strength tonight.
      God bless him, his family and give you strength and courage in the coming days.
      Love and hugs.
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21091
      p
      Participant

      Good morning Larry
      I join you this morning in a cuppa!  I am sorry to hear of your loss.  We are all with you Larry
      P

    • #21092
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Hows it going was thinking of you with yet another cuppa in hand ready to hit the shops in a minute when finished.  How are you going?  I love all your posts.  You were very supportive with me from the start and i appreciate it, thank you.  I hope you have a good christmas Larry.  Isnt it great to have  a gamble free christmas.  What a relief.  My thoughts are with you at this time
      P
       

    • #21093
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Firstly im sorry for the loss of your brother, rejoice his life, he obviously bought a lot of joy to a lot of people.  I wish him God speed.
      Secondly, i wanted to explain about my description of my job being ‘boring’.  Truly, that could not be further from the truth, but in comparison to lying on a beach with my bikini on (yeah right!!) it seemed a little on the boring side.  You are an amazing contributor to this forum Larry, we are very fortunate to have you and your wisdom here.
      Lastly, i want to wish you a Merry Christmas.  It is usually a time of reflection for me, and every year my reflection has been pretty bad..until now.  Take care, have a lovely day and make sure you toast your brother, his tough love has bought you to us, and i think we should all be thankful for him.
      My thoughts are with you,
      Bye for now, Kathryn xxxLife is about falling….living is about getting up!

    • #21094
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Thanks for the wishes and I wish you and yours the very best the Xmas season has to offer.  Here’s looking forward to a new year filled with health, joy and prosperity.
      All the best.
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21095
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I stopped by wish you a Merry Christmas and catch up on your thread.  I have just read about your brother’s passing and am so sorry to hear of this.  God bless you and the rest of his family at this difficult time.  I think others have said it all, but I will repeat some of it because it bears repeating.  Thankfully your brother’s tough love helped you steer your course.  And thankfully that course brought you here.  We all benefit greatly from your presence and participation in this forum.  It is wondeful that you too find benefit from being here.  Your support has been such a comfort to me, and I’m sure many others.  I am happy that you are succeeding one day at a time.
      I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you have a holiday season filled with peace and joy. All the best to you and yours.
      Take care,
      Laura

    • #21096
      velvet
      Moderator

       
      Hi Larry
      You do not have to ask for forgiveness from the F&F branch of this community.  I believe that one of the most important lessons we need to learn to move forward is that out loved one has an illness, an illness that is unasked for and unwanted – as much for you as for us.
      We vent our anger and frustration because it is important to relieve ourselves because like you we have found a site where we are understood possibly for the first time.
      I am indeed sorry that you have lost your loved ones and I am glad that you are able to speak to them. I hear your pain for the death of your brother. I hope you were able to show him that you had committed you life to being gamble-free before he died and that you were friends.
      Please don’t beat yourself up unnecessarily. I cannot speak for all but I know that for me the determination for you to live in control of your addiction is a success story that I want to hear. I don’t need to hear what went before – it is enough that you are standing where you are today.
      I wish you a Christmas that you will be pleased to remember and a peace in your heart and mind.
      Thank you for you good wishes and for popping in the F&F where you will always be welcome.
      With Love
      Velvet xxx
       
       

    • #21097
      howanan
      Participant

      Just wanted to stop by and offer my condolences for the loss of your brother.  It is especially hard to lose love ones during the holiday season.  That you so much for taking the time to post on my thread.  You do offer such good advise and encouragement to everyone here.  Thank you.  I am wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas…….Nancy***An addiction is what it is.  It is a hard thing, to face up to an addiction.  It can take over your life.  Make you do things you wouldn’t do otherwise.***

    • #21098
      colin in brum
      Participant

      Hi Larry, my condolensces on the loss of your brotehr.  Stay strong in your own recovery.  Keep posting

    • #21099
      vera
      Participant

      Larry, I was checking in to say Happy Christmas and just discovered that your beloved brother has died . MAY HIS ETERNAL SOUL REST IN PEACE. Hope you get through Christmas and cope with your loss in a gamble-free way. My sister died in June RIP. The first Christmas without her presents under the tree. She lived in the UK and took great joy in selecting appropriate gifts for everyone and wrapping them in a beautiful way. She was an artist… Life goes on!

    • #21100
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      How you doing??? Thank you for posting to me again, your words brought a little tear to my eye but a happy tear.  Thanks Larry for being here
      P

    • #21101
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      thinking of you as I sit here with a cup of coffee in hand this morning.  GT is now part of my morning ritual.  On work days it may only be for a few minutes, spend reading or in group chat, but it has become my second home.  So glad you are part of my GT family.  How did it go over Christmas?  When I see your daily pledge I know all is well.  Take care Larry.  You are in my thoughts.
      Laura

    • #21102
      cully21
      Participant

      Dear Larry:
      I am thinking and praying about you my friend. You give yourself to all of us unselfhishly. I am glad you are my friend. I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like God passed a lot of love and good to you through your brother. He does the same through you now, to us.
      Thank you,
      Cully21

    • #21103
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hiya Larry,
      I just wanted to tell you that i think your post to Vera was one of the most beautiful, touching things i have ever read.  You certainly bought a tear to my eye, you have a wonderful way with words.
      Take care, bye for now Kathryn xxLife is about falling….living is about getting up!

    • #21104
      flowers
      Participant

      sorry for your loss please keep posting stay strongim sending you some flowers in hope to brighten up your day a little
            flowers

       

       

    • #21105
      paul315
      Participant

      Happy New Year Everyone!
      January 1, 2010 starts the new year for our Gregorian calendar system currently recognized throughout most of the world. And I look forward to celebrate this event "Gambling Free",I have made my Daily Pledge today so I am confident of this.
      There are also many other different days that represent the beginning of the "New Year" for many other calenders, i.e., Julian, Islamic, Hebrew, Chinese, plus many more, or even individually selected Fiscal Year calendars, (and not to leave out the Old Style English calendar year starting on 25 March). Therefore, I am adding another type calender for me to go by, one on which I plan to base an even greater celebration for the years to come: My personal calender’s New Year’s Day will be on August 13, the day I started my Gambling Free Journey. Thanks to my 3 G’s, this day changed all things and allows me to enjoy each and every day of each different calender year, including today, December 31, the last day of 2009 AD, and Day 140 of my calender, my today’s One Day At A Time.
      A Happy Gambling Free 2010 to all my Fellow Gamblers.
       
       
       Larry"Day Two Is Now Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.

    • #21106
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry! Calenders aside, I want to wish you all the g-free best for 2010! I hope and pray the turn of the year and the new decade will bring new life, new hope, new love to all our lives. We have invested too much time in “false God’s” so when we face that truth we will be free!……You have been a wonderful support to me Larry. You are always tuned in and ready to give your time and thoughts. For that, I want to say a big THANK YOU. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed! I don’t get enough time to read and post to others’ threads. My laptop never connected to the internet since I had it repaired and I keep saying I ll go back to the shop but never have time! I borrow my son’s Mac, I cant even make paragraphs on it but at least he is not saying “hurry up” now as he needs it less when he is on holiday from college…I’m looking back and thinking of all the things gambling has taken away from me, but it’s better not to dwell on it too much, so here’s to a gamble free future for all of us!…….God bless!……

    • #21107
      howanan
      Participant

      Hi Larry,  Happy New Year.. I ditto everything Vera wrote…  My aim is to try harder then ever this year to stay gamble free…..Nancy***An addiction is what it is.  It is a hard thing, to face up to an addiction.  It can take over your life.  Make you do things you wouldn’t do otherwise.***

    • #21108
      marilee
      Participant

      Larry – thank you for your kind words on my thread.  Yes, we both post quite a bit, but have never posted to one another!  Your entries are always thoughtful and thought-provoking.  You do much to assist the newer members.  I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve….I think this is the first one in many that I won’t be at the casino and thank God for that!  Take care, may 2010 bring you continued success in your recovery.

    • #21109
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Happy new year to you.  Thank you for your support in 2009.  I raise my morning cuppa to you and say Larry, lets have a fantastic happy healthy and gamble free 2010.  All the best to you, you really are helping others along this path, including me.  Thank you for being here Larry i hope to see you again soon
      p

    • #21110
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry … Happy New Year.  You have done an amazing job since you started back in August … proving that taking recovery one day at a time really works.  I think your strategy of making a new pledge every day is an excellent one too.  As time passes, it’s too easy to forget the devastation that gambling causes for cgs.  So, I too am going to make a daily pledge to enjoy each day to the fullest … gamble-free!!
      I find that as I adopt a more mindful, one day at a time (actually, one moment at a time) approach, I’ve lost the urge to count.  It simply has lost its importance.  That’s a big thing for me.  There are still occasions where I panic and think what if I can’t keep this up … but I’m trying to snap out of that thinking and unnecessary panic and just take care of now.
      Thank you Larry, for all your support in 2009.  I am honoured to share this journey with you.
      Hugs.
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21111
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Wishing you every happiness in 2010. Your wise words on every thread i read jump out at me and make me truly think, which in itself is amazing.  I have taken something out of every post you have written and i am very thankful that you are here. Thank you Larry, for the time you take to really share your thoughts, you are a wonderful member of our community.
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxLife is about falling….living is about getting up!

    • #21112
      flowers
      Participant

         happy new year paul congrats on your gamble free time be proud
               flowers

    • #21113
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      2010 is here!!! here is to a wonderful gamble free, happy,healthy one.  How are you doing?  Thanks for your inspiration
      P

    • #21114
      micky
      Participant

      Hi larry,
                  Just read your post on VPI’S thread, very interesting i will be writing it down.( It makes alot of sense)
      Cheers
      Mickybeneath the ashes fires rage

    • #21115
      paul315
      Participant

       January 13, 2010 – Five Months Living Gambling Free!
       
      GA doesn’t have a key ring with a particular color for this milestone, so I will use a heading in a color that is a favorite of my granddaughter.  But it does not matter that there is a lack of a symbol or color, the achievement to me is just as mindful.
      Even after such a relatively short time, it already seems like a lifetime ago that I was held captive by my desperate attempts to satisfy my compulsion. If it wasn’t for the balance of my gambling debts, the gambling desires that creep in on occasion, or the ever present knowledge that I will always be a RCG, and the memory of what gambling did to my life, I would think that I had always lived this now somewhat normal life; normal yet a little different then others. Other lives where one does not have to control ongoing urges or think about the possible lurking harmful ones, or live with the the consequences of giving into past urges. I know that I am not alone in this way of life, that there are many other Fellow Gamblers and many others with different, yet equal, addictions that live the same life; nevertheless, my having to walk down a cautious path makes my now normal life seem a little out of the realm of things.
       

      I am no less happy or secure in my renewed slightly abnormal life, just mindful that the one I escaped from still awaits if I let down my reserve and do not keep aware; if I don’t keep dependent on the help and friendship of my 3 Gs – God, GT, and GA. To this tribunal, I must also add myself, for only we can make the choice not to gamble and must make it One Day AT A Time. 
      This brings me to another great help, the use of the Topic "The Daily Pledge by justin_SouthAfrica; if any readers of this post happen to follow the ones in those pages as well, you will have noticed the absence of post from Justin. I miss his daily account and pledge and ask that all of you take my hand, as he has asked daily in making his pledge, and join in prayer for his safe return.
       
      Fellow gambler, take my hand;

      I’m your friend, I understand.

      I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;

      I’ve borne the burden of your cross.

      I found a friend who offered ease;

      He suffered, too, with this disease.

      Although he had no magic cure,

      He showed how we could endure.

      We walked together side by side;

      We spoke of things we had to hide.

      We told of sleepless nights and debts,

      Of broken homes and lies and threats.

      And so my weary gambler friend,

      Please take this hand that I extend.

      Take one more chance on something new,

      Another gambler helping you.
       
      God bless you all.

      Larry

      "Day Two Is Still Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not face another Day 2.
       — 1/13/2010 6:53:20 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21116
      vab45
      Participant

      ((((((clap, clap, clap))))) you hear that Larry, Saul & Paul ?  You deserve evry ounce of how proud I am of you. Five months is a HUGE milestone.
      I’ve read other members replies about you and it’s evident to me you r very loved and cared for by many on GT.After reading your post tonite I can see why members have a special place for you. Here you are to celebrate 5 months and with humility asking us to keep Justin in our thoughts and prayers? I will do that and put my daily pledge on his site.  
      Take a bow, (for me?) thank God for His grace and continue on in victory as a RCG.
      VAB45"I’ve got to UNCOVER my emotions to RECOVER my character"

    • #21117
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good morning Larry
      I stopped by as I was thinking of you while I have my morning coffee.  Still enjoying coffee from your favourite mug? I hadn’t been to the daily pledge page for a week or so as I was always on at night.  Thank-you for continuing the pledge, keeping it as a reminder for all of us that to deal with compulsive gambling we must do it one day at a time.  I too think of Justin and wonder how he is doing.  I hope he is well and will come back some day to let us know how he is doing.
      A GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  5 months is excellent and I’m sure in some ways it feels a lifetime since you led the life of an active CG.  And as you know that life is only one bet away. 
      Your kindness and thoughtful posts are so much appreciated as you have been told many many times lol.  This community is so much richer for your presence.
      Take care Larry and enjoy the simple pleasure of your morning coffee on this milestone day.
      Laura

    • #21118
      ddsroad
      Participant

      Larry,
      Awesome!  Five months is quite a milestone.  This is such positive encouragement to us newbee’s.  It shows that it can be done.  Thanks for your great comments and support as well.  I love the take my hand post.  Keep staying strong!You can do anything if you put your mind to it!Best Wishes to You All – DD

    • #21119
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good morning Larry
      Hope all is well.  I usually log on to see your first posts of the day already made.  Just wanted to stop by for a coffee.
      take care,
      Laura

    • #21120
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by missing_Laura
      … Hope all is well.  I usually log on to see your first posts of the day already made. …

       Good morning to you also Laura, my Friday post are a little later then ones for the rest of the week; also making my coffee a little late.  I spend every Thursday afternoon and night at my daughter’s watching over my granddaughter, or playing as she calls it, and do no get back home until Friday morning. 
      I have been doing this most every week for over the past four years, beginning a few months after her birth, and after I was evacuated from New Orleans after Katrina.  I have only missed a few nights, mostly when they were out of town, and once when I was sick. Regrettably, I also missed two other times; times when I called and lied to them about not being able to make it  — Times when I was too caught up in gambling, and it was to late for me to make the bus connection. What made this even more pathetic was the fact that my daughter picks me up at a bus stop at another casino near her, one where I used to gamble at for a couple of hours before I was picked up, but I had completely lost all track of time at the one on my end. 
      My posting this story as part of my reply to you, was prompted by my working Step 8 today; Listing and making amends to those I have harmed.  My time with my family is not part of any amends I owe them, this is for enjoyment.
      I also used the reference to Katrina because of a flashback I had of the few days of turmoil I had to spend after that disaster.  The Haiti earthquake, being much more devastating, and pictures of the pain and suffering the people there are going through, was a sharp reminder of the Hell the people of New Orleans went through. Here again I was fortunate, I only lost a few material items and was discomforted for a few day staying inside my apartment without utilities; others lost everything and had to live on the streets for a week without food or water.  And the people of Haiti are going through much much worst — They are in my prayers, and I hope the prayers of any reading this.
      And, please – Try to do more then prey.
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Still Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not face another Day 2.– 1/16/2010 6:48:48 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21121
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Thanks for the lovely post on my thread.  What a lovely man you are!  The victims of the Haiti earthquake are in my thoughts and prayers too.  I watched the news coverage the past few days with horrid fascination.  It is incredible to see the strength of the human spirit though.  Without food and water, and with all their earthly possessions gone, the Haitians are reaching inward and finding solace in prayer and song.  How do you manage even a semblance of normalcy in such devastating circumstances?
      It also brings my "problems" sharply into perspective.  You are so right when you say that I should find happiness in even my tough moments.  Those people in Haiti would give their souls to have my "problems", I’m sure. It also makes me SO, SO very happy to be living in Canada.  I have never known hunger, the discomfort of living without heat, air conditioning or electricity, the discomfort of being without transportation or health care. I am truly blessed.  And while I have very little in the bank and am up to my eyeballs in debt, I feel like one of the wealthiest people in the world right now.
      Larry, you have done incredibly well on this journey, and I am so proud to be taking it with you.  Your posts bring so much wisdom and joy … and so today, I wish you joy. 
      How lovely that you get to spend regular quality time with your granddaughter. Every moment you spend with her shapes who she is and I’m sure she will remember you with great love for all her life.
      Hugs.
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21122
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Just wanted to say hi and thank you for always putting out your hand to me when i need it.  I have been away i am having a good time with my son but i am missign the forum sometimes too.  I hope you are going well and by the sounds of it you are.  Thank you Larry for being there for me.  Sending you happy thoughts
      P

    • #21123
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      just stopping in to say good evening.  I agree with P.  Thank-you for being there.  I’m glad you have found a sense of peace. 
      Laura

    • #21124
      p
      Participant

      Hi again Larry
      Just thinking of all my little friends across the world tonight.  Im having an odd moment even though i am away with my boy.  I have time now to post i am so thrilled for that
      P

    • #21125
      p
      Participant

      Hey larry
      Whats happening, just saying hi again, tried to dig out your post so you can go the front of the line again, i think you deserve to be there because you are such an inspiration to others and you are always there supporting everyone so up you go to the front of the line again hope to see you post again soon
      P

    • #21126
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry!…i’ve spent the last couple of days trying to find your thread! And hey presto! P has already, not only found it , but said the same thing I wanted to say! I can’t believe it. well, I can really , because it’s so true and so obvious and about time that you got recognition for all the support you give to everyone on this thread. You are always, patient , polite and tolerant. Some day, I’m going to treat myself to a good read of all you have written. I never seem to get enough time but it’s on the agenda. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and for some reason, I feel the name Paul suits you better….God bless for now!..all the sevens

    • #21127
      ddsroad
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Thanks so much for your well thought out posts.  I always appreciate them.  I hope all is going well with you!  Have a great weekend!You can do anything if you put your mind to it! If life’s not always fair, just remember, it may just be life!Have a great day! – DD

    • #21128
      warrior
      Participant

      hi paul..glad your still here chuggin along.im trying.im fine when im broke,but get a few bucks in my hands and bamo i get the thought of gambling.hang in here.take carehere to make it one year..and more, lets do it!!!

    • #21129
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Just thought I’d jump on quickly in my harried day to say CONGRATULATIONS in advance for your six month anniversary tomorrow.  Wow … I remember when you joined in August, 2009.  Since then, you have made such an impact on this site with your deep wisdom.  You have made me smile often, and I thank you for those gifts.
      I agree with Tony (timeflies) too … life is wonderful without gambling.  It certainly isn’t easy … it’s not a bag of laughs every minute … but it is wonderful to be connected to the real world again.  This weekend is a long weekend for me, so I’ll be spending it with family (I am SO looking forward to it). 
      Hope you have a lovely weekend too.  Do something nice for yourself.
      All the best,
      RG
       This moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21130
      vera
      Participant

      Larry ( Paul)! I’ve been waiting for your 6 month mark to send my heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS ! I’m posting in advance of THE big DAY (like RG), because I won’t be awake early tomorrow morning and I don’t want my wishes to be late! I wish you lived near so that I could cook you a lovely steak to celebrate…nobody deserves recovery more than you. You’ve put so much of your time into this site that you deserve nothing but the very best….God bless and protect you every day in your continued attempts to overcome this addiction. You are an inspiration!……..all the sevens

    • #21131
      time flies
      Participant

      Hi Larry, many congratulations on going 6 months and thankyou for your posts on my thread. Best wishes and keep up the good work my friend. Tony

    • #21132
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry,
      I just wanted to add my congratulations for your six months gamble-free.
      You’re an inspiration and wonderful member of our community who’s always supportive, constructive and positive.
      I wish you continued strength and peace of mind for the future – well done!
      All my best as ever,
      S. 

    • #21133
      ltlasia
      Participant

      Hi Larry, congratulations on your six months, that is wonderful.One day at a time adds up,well done!
      Have a fantastic day!
      Ltlasiahopeful

    • #21134
      p
      Participant

      Wow Larry
      Six months!!! congratulations on changing your life!  and what a change it is hey!  Good on you Larry, that first step has now led to six months.  Be proud of yourself Larry this is a tough tough thing and we are all in it together.  Thanks for being here
      p

    • #21135
      paul315
      Participant

      February 13, 2010 –  6 Months Gambling Free! 
      My name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler. I placed my last bet on August 13, 2009.
      It is my 180 Day Milestone and once again I get a key tag to add to my set, and as I have said before; It may only be a piece of black plastic with gold lettering, but it holds the keys to my recovery.
      My first month in my recovery, and being a member here at GT and at GA, was relatively easy, like many at this stage, I was broke and could not gamble. However, I recognized that I needed help for me to stay gambling free after the obvious restraint was gone.
       
      My second month was the beginning on my true efforts, but the reasons were not true. The reasons I kept attending the GA meetings and visiting GT were that while I did recognize some benefits, I also recognized that I was not strong enough to admit to my new Fellow Gamblers that I had slipped, either while facing them or by just not showing up or not posting.  I found by reading post from others and hearing the sharing about the efforts of others, that it takes a lot of courage and strength to admit that you slipped – or as I believed in my earlier stages while trying on my own, failed. Fortunately thought, I somehow knew that with the right frame of mind that I could use that same energy to control my urges and stop the progression of my gambling.
       
      The third month was a little harder for me to keep my mind on track. I had worked with the creditors and family members that I owed to set up payment plans, thus giving me some extra cash to have on hand. Thankfully the barriers that I had put in place prevented me to instant access, I had to go through precise steps to get my money and in doing so gave me time to rationally deal with the urges and had to work daily to keep these money barriers current. I did not let an amount build up on hand that I would have considered enough to gamble with, I only keep "pocket change".
      I was also feeling that I might be strong enough, and have enough sense, to gamble "normally"; to fall victim to complacency and my unconcerning thoughts, and chase my elusive dreams ones again. Thanks to all here and at my GA meetings, and to my working the steps of recovery, I overcame this period. I have now replaced  the feelings of complacency with those of being comfortable; it is a different feeling of contentment, one that does not cause stinkin’ thinkin’ – instead, it supports rational thinking and gives peace of mind.
       
      During my fourth month I began a concentrated effort in working the steps, in changing my character flaws. Until this process, I didn’t give any consideration as to what character traits I processed, either good or bad. Character was just a term that you used to describe others based on how you perceived them; if they pleased you they were of good character, if not they had poor character. Now I recognize that I too have character that others can judge. I can now honestly look at myself and notice my virtues, or lack of, and make efforts to build and reinforce the ones that will help, and attempt to remove or control the faults that hinder. This is not an easy task, but it eliminated my doing some wrongs that I had sunk to being at ease with, and it has brought back to life the conscience that I was suppressing.
       
      During the next  two months, I noticed that I was not having the urges that use to haunt me.  I started to notice that I no longer saw everyday common images as slot machine themes. During my gambling and earlier stages of recovery, everything I looked at reminded me of a slot machine. I still think of this some, but as a past memory, not a driving force, when I hear about someone thinking about and being attracted to their favorite machine; I had no favorite, they were all my down fall. I knew every pay out for each bet amount and combination that showed on every machine.  I would sit and think that the machines should just have blank screens, it would make no difference to me; in fact there were many times I just hit the buttons with my eyes closed, playing like a blind man. Only my blindness was within my thinking and controlled by my addiction.
      During this past month I have also found myself being closer to the God I believe in and depend on for strength and guidance. I also gained the strength and confidence in myself to do things that I enjoy without fear of ending up at the casino, I can go past or be next door to a casino, I can sit next to a machine in a bar or restaurant, I can stand at the checkout of the store next to the lottery tickets; I can live.
      I know that there are some, maybe many, that do not share the need for God or a Higher Power of any dimension; but I have found that for myself, and have seen that for others, such a tool is needed – one can not accomplish this task of overcoming an overpowering influence on our lives without a connection between our innermost selves and a greater spiritual principle. This principle may be derived from a vast amount of sources, but the source has to be greater then our own will power – a power that has already proved to be inadequate. (IMHO and contrary to a popular saying at GA, it cannot be the door knob either, the Higher Power has to be greater then us) But I digress, this is a topic more suited to my Ways & Means topic page.
      One thing that helped me in dealing with the ever present and available gambling surroundings is that during my recovery I find myself at a bus stop inside a casino parking garage every Thursday.  My daughter picks me up there each week for a visit with them. I spend the night and am dropped of at the same casino Friday mornings.  Prior to my recovery process, these times were a complete disaster due to me "visiting" the casino, not just waiting at a bus stop. Having to conquer this temptation has provided me a habit forming way of being able to ignore the gambling lure, just as I can ignore other things out in the world that I have no interest in.
      I do have alternatives to my being near the gambling, I could stay home or I could depend on others.  My daughter has offered to go out of her way and pick me up at a more distant stop; and a friend offered to come and pick me up and take me home so I would not have to go near the casino (he is a recovering alcoholic and knows about temptations). I appreciate and am thankful for both offers, but I can not let them, I can not push my responsibility off on others – their offers were more then help and encouragement, they were putting me in a bubble. However, I did use their encouragement and support to face this situation by knowing that I could call on them; and in forcing myself to live the life I was seeking, I was able to combat the temptations around me and come out a better person. I did not do this to tempt or test myself, I did it to be able to live my life. 
       
      Thanks to all of you, thanks to my God, and thanks to organizations like GT and GA, I can say; my name is Larry and I am a Recovering Compulsive Gambler.
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware.
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Still Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not face another Day 2.– 2/13/2010 6:52:59 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21136
      salina
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Salina here.  I just read your post. I am impressed that you have made it 6 months. I enjoyed how you broke it down for us so we could see how each month brought you to where you are today. Thanks for sharing as it does help knowing that a day will turn into 2 days and then eventually a month or six.  It is definusy atley encouraging.
      It is friday night late..I just got home from a very long day and night. Work then held a fundraisier for the music program, a busy night with bingo, food and cake auction. I was in charge of this whole thing and busted my ass so the music program at the elementary school will be able to continue.  We made over $1000 dollars this evening. And I am responsible for that happening.. It feels good to know that I did this and more importantly how hard I have worked this last few weeks to make it happen. It seems like so much money to me but if I was sitting in front of a slot machine, well it wouldnt be enough!
      I have the next 10 days off and sunday is in 2 days.  As of now, I dont feel like gamblin Im actually to tired to do anything but sunday is a day or two away…
      thanks for your post i will try to make group in the next couple of days
      Pat yourself on the back and please keep us posted it is an ispiration for us allthis to shall pass

    • #21137
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry,
      A belated well done on you 6 months or 183 days or 15,811,200 seconds, whatever way you say it, it is a truly remarkable achievement and you should be very proud of what you have achieved.
      Like Salina I very much liked the way you have broke you recovery into different stages, I think its important to understand that recovery has its up and downs and you go through a whole range of emotions, particularly in the early months. Hopefully from here you can keep going onwards and upwards and before you know it you will have a year behind you, of course one day at a time though ;o)
      Anyway Larry keep up the good work, stay strong and always watch your back.

      Cheers
      CarlMy soul is back

    • #21138
      ddsroad
      Participant

      Larry,
      Excellent!  This is so great to hear.  You should truly be proud of yourself.  I appreciate your great words of wisdom and thoughtful support you have given to me and all of the others here.  Thanks for everything and many kudos on your great accomplishments!You can do anything if you put your mind to it! If life’s not always fair, just remember, it may just be life!Have a great day! – DD

    • #21139
      ltlasia
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Believing in God or any higher power you believe in is the most important thing we need in order to live a better life.The first time we admitted we were powerless over gambling and our life was unmanageable, and came to belief that greatest than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thing and living,we already surrender to God.
      I am so glad that you are doing very well in your recovery and I could see also that you are working on your steps.
      Keep up the good work and many blessing and miracles will be reveal to you. This is just the beginning,many more to come.I am so happy for you.
      Principles before personality.
      Ltlasiahopeful

    • #21140
      salina
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I understand you are going to be gone. Going to New Orleans? wow that sounds like fun. we will miss your posts here and your positive outlook drop us a line and let us know how things are.
      As for me, I am hanging in there today is sunday and i am not going anywhere!
      I will try to make group this week. Look forward to hearing how your trip goes.this to shall pass

    • #21141
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      You have done so well six months is amazing!  Long way from those horrible days of destruction hey, but I know we can never become complacent.  Have been having some thoughts lately but squashed them now thankfully.  Have fun at your MG Larry!  Woohooo, no gambling lets celebrate!
      P

    • #21142
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      I hope you had a good time at the MG.  Are you home yet?  I hope you had an amazing time.  I guess it would be different without your friend you usually go with.  But lots has changed hasnt it in your life.  So many changes over this past six months that i am sure you are strong enough to handle what comes your way.  You have done so well Larry.  I am waiting to see another post to see what happened.  I loved how you broke down your months in explanation.  Six months is awesome!  You are a valued member here of this community Larry. 
      P

    • #21143
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I was stopping by to say that we miss you and your ever insightful words of wisdom.  And then I see that I missed your 6 month anniversary.  Well done Larry to say the least.  I see a man that has made great changes in his life and your example provides hope to all of us.  I hope that you are having a great time in New Orleans, living the life you have worked so hard for.  Take care Larry, you are truly missed.
      Laura

    • #21144
      p
      Participant

      Where are you Larry?  Are you ok?  I hope you are having a good time wherever you are, are you still in New orleans?  Come back and lets know how you are going, we miss you here.
      p

    • #21145
      paul315
      Participant

      Hello P,
      I am back and I am OK; and, thanks to my Higher Power and people and places like here, I am still gambling free.
      LaterLarry"Day Two Is Still Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not face another Day 2.

    • #21146
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hiya Larry,
      Im sure you had an even better time for not gambling, well done, you are amazing!!
      Take care, bye for now, kathryn xxSometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are.

    • #21147
      ltlasia
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I hope you enjoy your little vacation,good to see you,
      Progress not perfection,
      principles before personality!
      ltlasiahopeful

    • #21148
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by kathryn

      Im sure you had an even better time for not gambling … 

      Good morning all, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was Aug 13, 2009.
      You can not imagine how good those words sound to me today. It is not that I doubted that I would not gamble on my trip, but I knew that I was to be in an environment that I could not control in the past few years. I was not concerned with being around the casinos, I could just not enter them (after a struggle with any urges), but, the bars and restaurants with the poker machines that I would be going into as part of my trip, were on my mind during my drive down.  I haven’t given gambling much thought in a while; by this I mean, I have not been thinking about gambling, I do think about my not gambling. 
      Once there I just jumped into the Mardi Gras festivities, photos of movies can not began to show the immense size of the parades and floats with a marching school band between each of the 20 to 30 floats the each hold about 50 "krew" members. (the bands march each mile, while the krew members ride and throw beads and trinkets); or the amounts of people packed along the 3 to 5 mile parade routes. It takes the larger parades 8 hours to cover the entire route, plus a few hours of staging  – not to mention the months of preparation. I have been part of a small walking parade, the Krew de Drew, with carts and not floats, that takes 3-4  hours parading a couple of miles through the streets of the Quarter; this small independent parade is larger then most parades for other celebrations in other communities throughout the world. I know there are other large events with one parade for a holiday, but these huge Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans (as well as in Rio and Nice) last for 2 weeks with 2 or 3 parades going on at the same time within miles of each other.
      So yes Kathryn, it was a better time not gambling. Not only money wise, but just being in a festive mood without resentment for loosing money.  During the last couple of years in New Orleans before my evacuation after Katrina, a $3 drink in a bar would cost me $10, and a meal would cost an extra $10-20 as well; the change would go into the poker machines with any substantial winnings lost at the casino down the street – chased by more money.
      This realization hit me even harder when after 3 years of being away, a couple of old bar mates, commented on my change. I also notice I passed by places that I had only gone into in the past to play a different machine, I was passing them by without any thought of stopping. Then I was thinking my luck would be different in a new place, and as I now recognize,I was driven by a compulsion to play every machine in the French Quarter.  A friend and I did start out once to drink in every bar, but that was alcohol stupidity, not compulsion.
      The most amazing part for me was that once I was going about normal activities, my fears of the machine’s pull were replaced with a feeling of pride and appreciation for a program that was allowing me to think about what I was doing, instead of a compulsive sickness stealing all my rational thoughts. It was not easy, there were times that all I would have had to do was turn on my bar stool and drop a quarter or dollar into the machine, times when a friend next to me would do just that; but thanks to my conditioning, my non-gambling mind set, those times were not a threat. Rational thinking and not stinkin thinkin keep me from my repeating my past mistakes.
      I could not have done this in October when I wanted to return for a friend’s wedding, I knew this back then and had to force myself not to go; gambling’s temptation would have been too great at that earlier time. That decision gave me encouragement to keep on working on recovery, and time for me to progress further. I still have a daily process to tend to, a lifetime of awareness, but the rewards are worth the efforts.
       Larry"Day Two Is Still Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not face another Day 2.

    • #21149
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hiya Larry,
      Im glad you had a good time, it sounded fantastic!  I just wanted to say to you, we do have a lot to be thankful for, life is good dont you think?  Each day without gambling makes me a little stronger, and coming here keeps my resolve sound.  Im glad you are on this journey with me Larry, it wouldnt be the same without you!!!
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxSometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are.

    • #21150
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      I loved your post.  Describing you being amongst places where you could have gambled but you didnt!  Way to go Larry.   You really are doing a wonderful job of your recovery.  I admire how far you have come and your strength in situations.  Im coming along ok too but i have had some massive urges recently but they seem to have faded off into the distance as i write this today.  One day at a time certainly changes lives.  Thanks for being part of my journey too Larry
      P

    • #21151
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      sorry I missed you for coffee this morning.  Your trip sounded lovely and it is good to see you enjoying real life.  Funny how our transformation on the inside shines through to the outside.  Have a lovely day Larry, God bless.
      Laura

    • #21152
      paul315
      Participant

      — 2/27/2010 1:53:29 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21153
      howanan
      Participant

      I think it is great that you could be so close to those machines physically and not near them mentally.  You have shown us that it is possible to have fun that does not including gambling.  You have come very far in just a short period of time.  And you are alway so ready and willing to jump in and help others here.  Thank you Larry ….All is well….Nancy

    • #21154
      paul315
      Participant

      "BE PATIENT! The days and weeks will pass soon enough, and as you regularly attend meetings, abstain from gambling and follow the guidelines on this page, you will experience continued recovery." (From the GA Yellow Book)
      Hi, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009.
      I am happy to report that my continued patience has led me to being 7 Months Gambling Free.  This has been accomplished in spite of the temptations from the gambling industry that I, and all other CGs, have to face and overcome daily. For recovery is a One Day At A Time process; actions must be taken and repeated every day for us to stay on course and realize any results. For us to wear our "Badge of Honor".
      Milestones and personal charting is good for statistical and recognition purposes, or to show others that continued progress is possible – and while most certainly recognition helps build our self-esteem, the accumulation notices are more helpful to others. I for one need to know that others have made it, giving me reassurance that I too can make. 
      Such recognition is needed for us to feel a closeness to our fellow CGs as much as us sharing our stories do. It does us good and gives us a feeling of pride when we see how far we have advanced in our recovery.
      Thanks and God’s speed to all.  Stay strong. Keep aware. Wear your hard earned badge proudly, be it in recognition of a day or a lifetime.  
      One Day At A Time – They Add Up …Larry"Day Two Is Still Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not face another Day 2.

    • #21155
      vera
      Participant

      Well done on seven months Larry! You sure earned your “badge of honour”! It’s no boast to say “I’m a compulsive gambler”, but making that humble and honest admission leads us to an alternative place where we can be free of all the chaos gambling creates, a place of peace and freedom and we will only get there one day at a time!……all the sevens

    • #21156
      paul315
      Participant

      First I am happy to say that all is going well in my life and that I am living gambling free. I continually work toward this goal and do everything possible to keep me on track. This include sharing advice and information from all the visit here and at my GA meetings, as well as with some outside our community.
      A recent event I was involved with has given cause for me to look deeper in to my recovery and the GA program that I have associated myself with and has been a tremendous help to me. As I mentioned above, I put a lot of effort into "working the steps" as they say in my GA meetings, at least as far as I can understand of this process.
      In having a closer look as some of my past dealings with others, especially while I am coming across as a member of the CG community, I am reminded of of the GA Unity Program and one of it’s principles, i.e., "Gamblers Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the Gamblers Anonymous name ought never be drawn into public controversy." While working on my own problems I crossed this line and have unintentionally and regrettably caused harm to others with some ill formed remarks. Sometimes words as they are perceived by others can be cutting and just as harmful as any direct actions.  For this I am sorry I am wrong.
      And where these may be construed as vague words and not direct actions, I can only hope they come across as sincere; they come from the heart and are a result of deep thought and concern guided by some of the other principles of GA: "Continued to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admitted it." and "Make direct amends …., except when to do so would injure them or others".
      These words may never reach the ones that they are intended for, but they reach me and will help be in becoming the better person that being gambling free is guiding me toward.
      God’s speed.
      Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21157
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      first of all, congratulations on your seven month mile stone!  You most definitely have earned your badge of honour and can wear it with pride. 
      Secondly, it pains me that you feel you have stepped across the line.  Not sure if you mean that you said some insensitive remarks to a fellow CG or did something to bring the GA name under fire.  Either way, knowing the kind caring person that you are neither would have been intentional.  You have only ever tried to be a help to members here, wether with kindness, support or tough love. 
      I hope that you will not beat yourself up over this and have forgiven yourself whatever transgression you feel you have made.  The world is a much better place for having the RCG Larry as part of it.
      Have a good weekend Larry and hope to see you around on chat.
      Take care,
      Laura

    • #21158
      cully21
      Participant

      Hi Paul.
      I am so happy for you. You have made a tremendous differnce in my life. You are insightfull and have given me compassion and tough love that I need. I thank God for you my brother. I am still scared, but I will never give up the walk of life and recovery. I am headed to a health fair for work tommorow 95 miles away. I am kind of worried about the weather. The first and closest casino I banned from is about 80 miles from the town I am going too. I am still banned, on company time and will be in a rental car that needs returned on time, so I am safe from gambling tommorow. I kind of dread the drive becuase of the failures and emotions I have had on this highway, but I can do it.
      You are one of many blessings and resources that God gave me. We may never meet face to face in this realm, but I know we will meet in the next my brother.
      God Bless,
      Cully21

    • #21159
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I wasn’t sure whether I should respond to your post on my thread or yours.  I am never quite certain of the rules of posting etiquette lol.
      I am glad that you were able to use me as a semi-confidant.  Although you had made your apology on your thread perhaps there was still a little left to release. 
      Something hitting very close to a nerve can cause a knee jerk reaction in us.  I’m so glad that you had been honing all of your RCG tools so that they could be put to use to overcome the scary urge.  Guilt and shame from the past can be a powerful urge creator.  But as we learn through GA and here, we can only deal with this one day at a time.  We cannot allow our past actions to overshadow the good actions we are creating today.
      So I am so very  glad that you are here today, continuing on this journey.  Happy to be your sounding board as you have done for me many a time. 
      Have a great gamble free day.
      Laura

    • #21160
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Thank you so much for your post on my thread.  I was deeply touched by everyone’s concern and support.  Times are rough, but I know they will get better.  I am thankful, this morning, that I didn’t carry out my urge to gamble yesterday.  You’re right, you and I both know the devastating consequences that even one bet will have.
      You are doing incredibly well, even though you may have those **ck it! moments.  It is part of the journey, I suppose (albeit a bloody annoying part). There seem to be quite a number of us having urges and struggling at the moment, but thankfully, we’ve all managed to stay strong somehow, and I’ll pray that we all manage to continue that way.
      Keep the faith.
      Love,
      RGThis moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.

    • #21161
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      You have come such a long way.  Seven months is so wonderful!  I am so glad you are here Larry and part of this community.  I can’t imagine you upsetting anyone, whatever it is i am sure people know you are only meaning well.  Your posts are greatly appreciated. 
       P – living and learning

    • #21162
      howanan
      Participant

      Hi Larry,  Thank you for posting on my thread and sharing the website infomation.  I just finished reading it.  I try to visit all the website you and others recommend on here.  They are always so informative and really help.  We must eah do everything we can to stop gambling.  We have to WANT to stop gambing, needing to is not enough.  Once again thanks.   Nancy

    • #21163
      paul315
      Participant

      April 13, 2010 — 8 Months living gambling free!
      Hi, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009.
      Today’s milestone is not one that is recognized with a key tag or coin embossed with the continuous clean time that we have accumulated, but it is one that I recognize. It has no more significance then yesterday or any other day in my recovery, other then being a more recognizable calendar date; but I will use it to post to "My Journal".
      It seams that I do not post to my journal consistently, at least not to the the one in this Forum; I do however write in my personal journal about my progress to keep me mindful of my reason and need for being in recovery — "not to gamble, and develop a better way of life" vs. the alternative, "to gamble, risking progressive deterioration". When I look at the choices and compare the results the only sensible and logical conclusion that I can reach is found in a quote from Stephen, "What has helped me tremendously in recovery is not allowing the addiction to let me blindly look at any positive, or perceived positive aspects of gambling…but to clearly look at the negative aspects of gambling. It’s not even debatable…the negative aspects of gambling far outweigh any possible positive aspects by a very wide margin." 
      Unfortunately, another thing that has helped me stay gambling free is found in another statement I make from time to time to new members; and as it turns out, also applies to a few established members on more occasions then needed: Your being here and your stories about your problems in recovery offer much help to me; you let me know that things have not changed in the gambling world, your report renews my fears of this without me having to venture back into that abyss for a personal look — using what I learn from you I do not want to trade my sobriety for a cheep thrill or momentarily and fleeting release of frustrations.
      On a more personal and remorseful note, today also marks the end of my marriage and my life with a family that I deserted. I allowed myself to be overpowered by the false "comforts" and  "escape" gambling seamed to promise. I let this compulsion rob me of too much time and avoid too many chances to recover my family life; now I am left with working on my recovery from gambling, trying to save the remaining pieces of a life without them. Gambling takes far far more from us then the valueless money that we all complain about when we first enter recovery; it takes life from us.
      To all my Fellow Gamblers, don’t let gambling continue to rob you of life. Our family and friends can only endure so much; don’t push them into a place where they can not overlook our wrongs and misdeeds any longer. Our selfish desires to be the one to beat the unbeatable odds and our fantasy notions that we can control our gambling, not only destroys us, but all we are connected to. Put your foolish pride aside and enjoy life with the ones you love.
      God’s speed to all. Keep strong. Keep aware. Take action; make an honest and true effort. Show care for the ones around you.
       Love,Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21164
      howanan
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing Larry.  I can only imagine what you are going through.  I hope you still have contact with your children.  God be with you today…..Nancy
      If you pray – why worry……… If you worry – why pray.– 4/14/2010 11:47:46 AM: post edited by howanan.

    • #21165
      cully21
      Participant

      Wow Larry. That post you just made on your thread really hit me and has me thinking. I pain from your loss. I was thinking a lot of stuff last night that relates to what you said. My mother got mad at me and told me I should just give up my job, school, and family and become a proffesional gambler. If I had a bank roll, I might would try it. But it got me thinking about the assets I have neglected. The invaluable ones. Family.
      Right now I am not making any declarations. I am a human being. A child of God. That is what I am focussing on today. And it is good to be alive.  I  have a lot of stuff to work out. A lot. I want to focus and regroup on those goals.
      You have made a difference in my life Larry. I am sorry for the price you paid to have to enter my life, but I sure thank God for you. I hope that doesn’t sound selfish of me.
      God Bless,
      Cully21

    • #21166
      pepe9494
      Participant

      hi larry i just wanted you to know im thinking of you and senting you my thoughs  you take care larry.   pepegods speed

    • #21167
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      glad you are here today, to share with us your joys and your sorrows.  Your sorrows so we can be there for you and your joys so we can share them with you.  Congratulations on your 8 months gamble free. 
      Take care,
      Laura

    • #21168
      p
      Participant

      HI Larry
      Congratulations on your 8 months that is really wonderful news!  It is sad what gambling takes from us.  You are right, so much more than finances.  You have a new life now Larry, a new gamble free life away from the illusions of gambling.  I took a look back at gambling the other week, I slipped, I can tell you, you don’t want to go back.  If ever you feel tempted use me as an example.  Straight back to the devastation and misery.  No matter how long we are away from it, it remains the same if we return.  So from one CG to another I admire your journey so far and appreciate your support
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21169
      cully21
      Participant

      Hi Larry:
      I contemplated your post and remember you speaking in the past about your relationship. I can only imagine the pain. I hope I am not overstepping my bounds, but is there any chance for any reconciliation with your children? Any attempts?
      Charile mentioned to me the other day that there are two types of recovering GA’s. Those who talk the talk and those who walk the walk. I regret I have not always walked the walk. But you, you my friend, my brother, you are walking the walk. My compliments may not be much, but I am so proud of you and I know I am not the only one.
      Is there anyway of attempting contact?
      I was rejected from my children at times when they grew up. Still am at times. There would be times when my daughter would have and event and say it was no big deal or she didn’t want me to go, but I went as much as possible.
      I came to a conclusion that was painful sometimes. This is strictly from my persspective for me.
      I decided it is best for me to be there and be rejected at times, rather than not being there at all.
      I am not saying by any means that this has or is a painless proccess, but it is something I did my best to do.
      This was also something I told my kids mother when she made her first suicide attempt. She had changed and you could say she pursued things that non-verbally showed the kids that she had rejected them for someone or something else. Oh how I prayed for reconciliaton between her and the kids. I tried to be mediator. I ended up with both sides mad at me. I would have the girls mad at me for trying to foster communiation and getting more involved with their mother, and their mother accusing me that I turned the kids against them. I did no such thing. I tried telling her how much damage was done with their relationship and that reonciliation would take time, and if she would show constiancy there was a chance. Oh how I wanted to see that consitancy. I really did. She never stabalized and it never came. Suicide was the ultimate abandonment. I dont mean any disrespect to her, but that is what it was. Then I blindly walked down a road turning from my resposnsibilities.
      All I know is wheter in my lifetime or after I pass, I hope they know I tried. I really am. I hope I was everything I was supposed to be when I pass.
      One message I will leave my kids when that day comes is that I forgive them of any transgressions and do not hold any guilt. I will be in Heaven waiting for them. All of my family accepted Jesus as their Savior. This was always my wish if I had one wish. I want them to forgive me too. The son of God paid for my sins and yours over 2,000 years ago. And I honestly believe if it was only me or you who would accept him and be saved 2,000 years later, he still would have done it. I know this. From your posts and tones I suspect you have done this and taken this free gift of grace. If not, I wish you would. I would like to meet you in Heaven someday. No hurts. No worries.
      Anway, I did not mean to type a long deep post. I hope and pray it has cuased you no pain. As long as you are alive, there is hope for reonciliation. It could happen. You have been getting yourself right for the past 8 months. I pray you are rewarded for that.
      I just care about you. I hope I have not overstepped my bounds.
      God Bless,
      Cully21

    • #21170
      vera
      Participant

      is it eight months yesterday since your last bet Larry?
      Time flies when things are going well..

    • #21171
      cully21
      Participant

      Hi Larry.
      I would have sworn that I sent you a post this mornig. I think I did. I hope that it did not offend you. It was deep and emotional but no offense was intended. I don’t know if I nuked it or removed it. Please let me know and I stay away from the subject.
      God Bless,
      Cully21

    • #21172
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by Cully21

      Hi Larry.
      I would have sworn that I sent you a post this mornig. I think I did. I hope that it did not offend you. It was deep and emotional but no offense was intended. I don’t know if I nuked it or removed it. Please let me know and I stay away from the subject.
      God Bless,
      Cully21

      No problem, I was just posting the same type to you that you can find posted on your topic page.
      God’s speed.
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.– 4/14/2010 7:35:01 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21173
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Just popping in again to say hi, I notice you offer a lot of support to everyone yet your thread seems to slip pages back so today i want to make sure you are on the front page so you get the support back that you give
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21174
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315

      April 13, 2010 — 8 Months living gambling free!
      … On a more personal and remorseful note, today also marks the end of my marriage …

      Good morning,
      I am copying part of a post to Cully to express my thanks to all who read mine and for the replies. One of the reasons for this forum is to let us talk about our lives. I don’t do this on a daily basis, the majority of my post is about  working recovery, but knowing that I can lean of others, not just benefit from their stories and their support and guidance is part of recovery and helps get me through the harder times.
      And as it turns out I still need your shoulders; the decision was delayed. The judge took the matter "under advisement" due to the fact that my wife did not have a SSN, as required by Homeland Security in such matters — this is a relatively small concern, but still needs approval. Also, my daughter only has a "US Consulate Birth Certificate", not a State issued one; apparently the judge is familiar with certificates issues by different States and certificates issued by foreign governments, or even births recorded in family Bibles, but this is new to him.  At least that is what I got from the explanation my lawyer gave. There will be no problem and I do not have to go back to court, the clerk just has to attache "his" comments to the decision. Although, I can almost see an "International Incident" taking place.
       So until the filling of the decision, I am still married and still safe from any advances by some mother’s daughter, or at my age, daughter’s mother.
      But seriously, Thanks again.
       Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21175
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Way to go on your not gambling life.  You have come a very long way
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21176
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry seems like you have been through some pretty tough times yourself lately and still you post wonderful posts of support to others.  You are doing so great on the gamble free time you should be proud of yourself.  Thank you for your supportive post to me and i will have a look at that site.  Thanks Larry
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21177
      p
      Participant

      Hi again Larry
      Nice to see you on chat recently!  Thanks for your words of support and i see you do the daily pledge a lot, i join in that too now.  It is a good way to start the day.  I have now taken to starting and ending my day right here!  Nice to have you as a friend here and i love all your words of wisdom
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21178
      mobikom
      Participant

      Larry:- Keep it up. Keep coming back to motivate some of us :)"You cannot change the system but you can change who you are"."I would not gamble with money i do not have" and "Make promises i can’t keep".

    • #21179
      paul315
      Participant

      May 13, 2009 – 9 Months Gambling Free 
      Hello, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was on August 13, 2009.
      The first time I said those words was at my first GA meeting, now 270 Days (ODAAT) after my last bet I can still say the same words at each GA meeting and when I welcome and introduce myself to new members here at GT.   It is a great feeling; a feeling the combines pride in my accomplishment and gratitude to my Fellow Gamblers — those who provided support and encouragement; plus a thanks to my Greater Power, a combination of my 3Gs, God, GA, and GT.  In addition, I wish to singularly thank my "highest" power, my God, who gave the wake-up call for me to get my life together and seek out His will; who made me realize that I had had "Enough".
      A couple days ago in the Daily Pledge thread I referred to being able to take a trip as "a result of being gambling free".  Well, the short excursion was enjoyable, and of course  thankfully was a gambling free one.  However, even over this short period I had to use rational thinking to overcome little temptations and combat false justifications that my mind was fabricating to allow me to gamble. There were lottery ticket sales everywhere and just so happens that in my bag I still had a unclaimed winning ticked that was an office Christmas present, one for a "free" ticket. My argument was that my exchanging it for another one, one with a chance for the "big" win — a CG’s elusive dream, would not be gambling. My realization was that it would be gambling and go against my pledge not to gamble even a token or equivalent.
      To make a sorely needed contradiction to and play on the popular phrase "What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas", what we do while away, be it Vegas or any other place, does not stay there; the wrongs that we allow ourselves to do because we are away from a protective environment follows us back and haunts us. To be gambling free we must keep Recovery with us, not leave it at home to come back to. 
      I also realized that my being able to take this ordinary type day-trip, was not only because being gambling free allowed me to have a little extra funds; being gambling free allowed me to have and take the time to go — to not be tied down to the casino unable to leave.  Being gambling free allowed me to follow through on my thoughts (sort of a dream) of taking a train ride every time I passed the Amtrak station.  Even though I do not consider this trip a dream, not even a Disney-type one, it was however part of an elusive CG one "back when"; when I was caught up in gambling and passed the station I would "dream" about winning big and traveling across country on the train, visiting all the casinos and winning even more. Being gambling free has freed my mind of the elusive dreams; now I can return to the Disney-type ordinary ones, and even experience them now and then.
      To all my Fellow Gamblers, God’s speed, stay strong, keep aware; keep your real dreams alive.Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21180
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Congratulations on your Nine months.  It was nice to catch up with you on chat.  You should be so proud of yourself Larry. I hope you can do something nice for your self for your achievement.  Can’t give yourself a better gift than a gamble free life!!  I always love reading your words and look forward to seeing more.  Have a great week
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21181
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry,
      Wow, 270 days or should I say 271!!! Feels great doesn’t it!
      I am so happy for you Larry, you have taken this illness by the horns and fought it every step of the way but at the same time helping a lot of other people along the way with your great words of wisdom and superb advice.
      I hope your life continues to improve and you gain many more good experiences you may have missed whilst in the midst of gambling hell. You are an inspiration to us all Larry and may we all continue hand in hand down the path of recovery……….one day at a time!!
      Cheers
      CarlMy soul is back

    • #21182
      welshpuss
      Participant

      Hi Paul.
      I just want to say a huge thank you for your post to me. It was so comforting and nice of you to be so supportive. I love the poem too.
      Im glad you have been so strong in your recovery. I hope we chat on here soon.
      Again, Thanks a lot, take care,
      Laura xOops I did it again.

    • #21183
      mobikom
      Participant

      Hi Paul. Keep posting on your gambling free. It will show us or guide us that we can be gambling free if we want too."You cannot change the system but you can change who you are"."I would not gamble with money i do not have" and "Make promises i can’t keep".

    • #21184
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning, my name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009.
      Today marks my 10th Month of being gambling free.  It is a milestone that represents little in the way of official recognition with mementos, but calls for a special celebration on my part.  304 days of recovery has brought me from what was a reason for me to evade life, and taken me to pursuing life. 
      It the past I lied and planed around gambling events  to get out of life events and obligations that would take from my gambling time. I was not only "reluctant to use ‘gambling money’ for normal expenditures"; I was defiant in using gambling time for normal activities.
      .
      At my GA meeting last week I mentioned that I would not be there this Monday, the 14th.  The reason was that  I was going to celebrate with my granddaughter at her graduation from pre-school. While sharing this I mentioned that this was one of the many daily enjoyments that being gambling free has allowed me; then to justify such a trivial thing keeping me from a meeting, I jokingly mentioned that even if I was still gambling I could not even get out of this, it was a command attendance.  Then it hit me, and hit me hard; if I was still gambling I would lie to her and upset her plans, I did it in the past concerning my joining in on other occasions and if still gambling, the overpowering pull of this addiction would cause me to do it again, it is the nature of the beast.
      So today I am celebrating a minor, yet notable, milestone in preparation for a much grander, yet childish, celebration in a little girl’s growing up;  and in continuing preparation for all the forthcoming and ongoing celebrations in my life.
      Before this addiction controlled every part of my life; now that I am in Recovery and started applying the needed changes to my life, e.g., I will no longer lie to my family about being at events, I recognize that the choice is mine. I will no longer choose to satisfy a selfish urge that will fade in a few brief moments – yes the urges can be strong and demanding, yet nevertheless brief and harmless, over the choice of not to gamble and enjoy the many things of life – a choice to gamble having results that will last a far far more longer time, a choice that will hurt and will cause harm.  We have two alternatives as CGs: to gamble, risking progressive deterioration or not to gamble, and develop a better way of life; we have only one choice.
      One Day At A Time, They Add Up – and not just in gambling free time and milestones. 
      God’s speed.Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21185
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Dear Larry,
      I find myself struggling for words to convey how happy I am for you.  My congratulations to you are not merely for making it one day at a time for ten months, but for working each day at making your recovery and abstinence meaningful.  The joy of a grandaughter smiling proudly at her grandpa on graduation day, the hapiness this must bring to your daughter, and this recognition of your own peace and joy are the rewards that truly matter. 
      I wanted to find you yesterday and today, to thank you for your recent posts, both the one on my thread and the article you shared that I posted to my thread myself.   I still have to explore the links you provided as well.  Through your own recovery, you are helping so many others find their way.
      Congratulations Larry on your ten month milestone, but even more so congratulations on your plans to attend the graduation 🙂  May you be blessed one day at a time with recovery and its rewards.
      A friend in recovery,
      Laura

    • #21186
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Fantastic on your gamble free time.  You have come so far Larry and you help so many others with your posts.  Your words are always very thoughtful and wanting the best for others.  Ten months congratulations.  I know had i stuck it out i would be there with you as we started around the same time.  Unfortunately not, but i know without this site i probably would have had no gamble free time at all so am happy for the days i do have gamble free.  Love your posts.  Way to go Larry, here is my cuppa raised in the air to you this morning.  Chink chink, (our coffee cups clinking together)  What an amazing recovery you are living
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21187
      p
      Participant

      Hi again Larry
      Today is my new day one.  I am joining your daily pledge, today will be the new life for me.  I hope this is it, and thank you, you re affirm in my head the one day at a time thing when i read your messages to people.  I am a slow learner i am thinking, today i hope to finally start a real recovery.
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21188
      paul315
      Participant

      Day 334
      My name is Larry (screen name paul315) and I am a Compulsive Gambler, my last bet was Aug 13, 2009; 11 months ago.
      Today is another day of celebration for me; it is also another day for me to face the fact that I am a compulsive gambler and that I cannot gamble for anything lest I fall back into the abyss that I escaped from. During the past months I have experienced some negative things, including a divorce and loss of a brother, that caused pain and regret; but I have also experienced joy and everyday happiness that helped be through the bad days. I truly believe if it were not for my recovery the adversities that I faced would have been far harder for me deal with and that I would have used gambling as an escape instead of facing them. Escaping destroyed my family life and marriage, I do not want it to take any of what I do have left.
      I know that I remain vulnerable to the overpowering pull and attraction of gambling and susceptible to returning to its grasp. I also realize that if I should gamble again, that I would have to again make the choice between staying on a course to destroy my life and returning here and to GA and continue my recovery, fighting an ever stronger foe; for gambling is a progressive addiction, not one that lets up because it lies dormant over a period of time. I cannot gamble on making the right choice.
      I have learned through the post and sharring of others and research of different studies concerning this addiction,  that unless I Do Not Gamble For Anything during each and every day, that if I give in to an urge or whim, I will start a cycle of going back and forth between gambling and trying not to gamble.  And even though I would be welcomed, and even expected to return, that this knowledge that I was still in recovery and that "slipping" was accepted as part of the recovery process – a roven fact and rightfully so, could also give me some reason to chance a one off try at gambling, to test myself or relive a temporary urge.  Taking such action for myself would in itself be a gamble; I would not only be gambling some found or reserved money, gambling on destroying trust one time too many, gambling on hurting my friends and loved one – even putting the support of my daughter in jeopardy, I would be gambling my sobriety. None of this I choose to do so, to prevent any unwanted results, I Do Not Gamble For Anything.
      These past few day have also made me think of my recognizing the changes in my involvement with events and everyday happenings from the present to my actions a year ago for each of these particular occasions; changing from blowing them off to participating in and enjoying them. Now that a year of sobriety and living gambling free is approaching, I will no longer have a "last year’s" comparison to make. I know that I could continue to say "two years ago I could not have done this, but hopefully I will be able to just enjoy such events with only a hint of remembrance of the wrongs of my past — remembering enough to keep me on track, remembering to not gamble for anything.
      So for the rest of my "fiscal" year, so to speak, I will continue to work the steps of my recovery and allow the needed changes in my character to continue, for without these changes for the better I could not change my actions – if nothing changes, nothing changes.
      God’s speed to all of you. Use your Higher Power to give you the strength to carry on gambling free, to live each day without gambling for anything, but nevertheless to carry on in your recovery.Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21189
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Congrats on 11 months! Here’s to the next one!
      bettie

    • #21190
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Just want to say thank you for your support.  Your words always make so much sense to me.  I find myself thinking sometimes of your words.  I am in a horrible place right now, the day after the worst binge i have had.  I went to GA last night and couldnt even speak i was such a mess.  Yesterday will be the last day i gambled.  Today is a new day again and i am trying to start over but right now it feels impossible, but with friends like you here it gives me that glimmer of hope to get through. I thank you for your support again.  You are an inspiration
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21191
      paul315
      Participant

      A reposting of my daily pledge made on the "Our Daily Pledge" topic page; for some reason the main part of the text does not show up on that page.  The part in blue is ommited.
      It should read:
       
       Our Daily Pledge  – Concept originated by Justin in his topic, "The Daily Pledge by justin_southafrica".

       
      I pledge that I will not gamble today – not one bet, not one cent, not one token nor equivalent; I pledge to live gambling free.
       
      Originally posted by paul315 Aug 2, 2010
       
      … Today’s pledge will also be my posted pledge for the next couple of days; I may not be able to post a pledge for these days, but I will make my daily pledge just the same. …

       

      Today I am back to posting my pledge not to gamble, and as stated above, I did make a mental pledge the couple of days being absent from this site, and I fulfilled each one allowing me to return with my same clean date of August 13, 2009. My daily pledge is a reminder to me of how I can keep this clean date. It is also an action that I can take in my recovery program when all other actions may seem to be removed or too demanding at the time.
        
      However, I have found that this action alone, nor the pledge in itself, or fulfilling it does not define Recovery; recovery can continue with out the pledge, and in reality, can also continue during or after a relapse and even through a longer period of a return to gambling. This reality is not to justify relapses or give reason to testing ones ability to control, but is encouragement for those who do falter. 
       
      A recovery process is one for changing one’s life and character so that this gambling addiction will not be able to feed off faults and weaknesses.  The "Not Gambling For Anything" part gives one the time and opportunity to allow the needed changes.
       
      My pledge allows me to make the changes, and the changes allow me to keep my pledge — it is a cycle that for me, and with the help of my higher Power, my 3 Gs, will remain unbroken.
      One Day At A Time – They Add Up …

      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21192
      paul315
      Participant

      It doesn’t show above either, so I will try just posting the "invisible" part and not the parts I used cut and paste on. (Strange also, when I use spell check it does not shoe up and when I go to Edit the post, the mysterious part is there, only missing when I try to read it as reading any post)  Maybe it shows for the rest of you.
      Again:
       

      Today I am back to posting my pledge not to gamble, and as stated above, I did make a mental pledge the couple of days being absent from this site, and I fulfilled each one allowing me to return with my same clean date of August 13, 2009. My daily pledge is a reminder to me of how I can keep this clean date. It is also an action that I can take in my recovery program when all other actions may seem to be removed or too demanding at the time.
        
      However, I have found that this action alone, nor the pledge in itself, or fulfilling it does not define Recovery; recovery can continue with out the pledge, and in reality, can also continue during or after a relapse and even through a longer period of a return to gambling. This reality is not to justify relapses or give reason to testing ones ability to control, but is encouragement for those who do falter. 
       
      A recovery process is one for changing one’s life and character so that this gambling addiction will not be able to feed off faults and weaknesses.  The "Not Gambling For Anything" part gives one the time and opportunity to allow the needed changes.
       
      My pledge allows me to make the changes, and the changes allow me to keep my pledge — it is a cycle that for me, and with the help of my higher Power, my 3 Gs, will remain unbroken.

       Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21193
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      It was nice to see you on group.  Nope, i cannot see the post of yours either, not the content!  How weird.. hope it resolves itself soon, little pc gremlins!!
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21194
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      What if i told u i could see the post?
      Well, i would be lying but it would be funny!
      Darn pixies!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21195
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by bettie

      Hey Larry,
      What if i told u i could see the post?
      Well, i would be lying but it would be funny!
      Darn pixies!
      peace
      bettie

      Betty,
      Harry straightened out the problem(got rid of the pixies) in the Our Pledge site but not this one yet, but if you can read the following 100000 word essay, it is working ok; if not hold a flame to the back of your screen and the words should appear, just like the secret message with lemon water and candle in our childhood days.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      you had to scroll down to kook , didn’t you, lol
      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.
      — 06/08/2010 15:18:05: post edited by harry.– 8/7/2010 12:41:48 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21196
      bettie
      Participant

      Larry,
      Sometimes "low tech" is much better than "high tech". Great message and the candle worked fine!
      lol!
      bettie

    • #21197
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      I had to laugh at that, i remember using the water and finding secret messages on paper it was a fun thing to do as a child.. glad you are well and hope to see you some time again soon in chat..
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21198
      paul315
      Participant

        August 13, 2010 – One Year Gambling Free 

      My name is Larry and I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009; this was not only the day of my last bet, it was the first day of a recovery process that I have based my life and actions on since.
       
      My present life consist of my enjoying life in general and being with my family in the United States. I have no obligations or attachments to anyone except for a few friends and my family and I find complete enjoyment in my life with them — I am living the better life that Recovery offers. However, being separated from another part of my life, a family in France, does bring sadness and puts limits on that better life; but any loneliness or regrets are connected to that separation and not to my separation from gambling.
       
      My life today has been resurrected from a five year rampage of addictive compulsive gambling. For reasons unrelated to gambling but to a state of deep depression, I deserted my family in France and returned to the States for a visit to get my thoughts together. Instead of working on my depression and problems, I started hanging out at the casinos.
       
      I was no stranger to gambling as it had been an attraction to me most of my adult life so fitting in came easy. Escaping also came easy and the addiction found a way into my life bringing about my divorce and caused the deterioration to my character and life.  The recreation and enjoyment of gambling was no longer an attraction, I had crossed the line. I started gambling most everyday for hours on end, feeding my addiction with all my time, savings and income. After these funds were gone I started to steal and cheat, and to continually write bad checks to cover my expenses and gaming needs. I lost everything of any value and put myself in deep debt that continued until I started true recovery.
       
      The days prior to starting my recovery I began a string of actions that caused me to recognize a real need to stop. I found the Gambling Therapy site and felt relief in that I was doing something; not necessarily to help me in recovery, but more as a way to assist in a defense for writing bad checks. I started my recovery with only a vague knowledge of what it had to offer or required. Joining GT was part of an ill conceived plan to use diminished capacity as a way out of any criminal charges.
       
      I now had proof that I was seeking help, and thought that I could continue gambling. The next day I went crazy, repeating the actions of the preceding days, getting myself into yet deeper trouble and thinking that I had no way out. The afternoon of August 13 after leaving the casino I was going to put a final end to it all; what stopped me from stepping into the path of a commuter train was fear of surviving. Instead I boarded the train, went home and logged back onto GT; this time searching for the help they offered.  I followed their links and found Gamblers Anonymous. I joined GA, begin working their 12 Step program and continued daily use of GT. During the next days and year that followed I found assistance for my financial situation, sought support from family and friends instead of using and lying to them, and accepted the fact that what relief  I had found during the first few days of honest actions could be continued, but only if I continued the program.
       
      It was a strange beginning to my recovery; something that was inconceivable before after so many attempts on my own was now beginning to take place. I was able to stop with the help of a Higher Power, following the GA guidelines, and by taking the advice found at GA meetings and on GT. Now my gambling free days starts with the "Serenity Prayer" on the cover of the GA Yellow Book, the words from it’s last page, "Don’t Gamble For Anything", and a time of meditation and study; of course after this daily start, practicing the guidelines on the pages in between and participating in the GT chat rooms keeps me gambling free for the rest of the day and enables me to fulfill a daily pledge not to gamble for that day.
       

      Thanks to this strange turn of events, and the helping hands of many, today I am a Recovering Compulsive Gambler. In return I can only offer my hand to others, a helping hand best described for me in the following poem:
       
      Fellow gambler, take my hand;
      I’m your friend, I understand.
      I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;
      I’ve borne the burden of your cross.
       

       
      I found a friend who offered ease;
      He suffered, too, with this disease.
      Although he had no magic cure,
      He showed how we could endure.

      We walked together side by side;
      We spoke of things we had to hide.
      We told of sleepless nights and debts,
      Of broken homes and lies and threats.

       

       
       

      And so my weary gambler friend,
      Please take this hand that I extend.
      Take one more chance on something new,
      Another gambler helping you.
                                       
      Author unknown

       
      In addition to my heartfelt gratitude and thanks (and apologies to any that I may offend with my actions, post, or beliefs) I close with my normal "Stay Strong, Keep Aware, and God’s Speed"; May God bless and keep you all.

      Larry

      "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.– 8/13/2010 6:52:21 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21199
      reallyneedhelp
      Participant

      congratualtions on your success. I think it is wonderful that you have turned this around and i use you as encouragement to continue my fight. I hope to be where you are now by next year. thanks for your positiveness!!!!

    • #21200
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Congratulations one year is such an achievement!! Be proud of you Larry, I am! 
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21201
      bettie
      Participant

      Oh Happy Day!
      Happy "Birthday" Larry!
      peace
      bettieIt’s one thing to know where you want to go-it’s another thing entirely to have the Wisdom to get there….Looking for the Wisdom

    • #21202
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Larry, your post brought tears to my eyes and a song to my heart.  Congrats to you on your hard work and gamble free life!  You inspire me friend!  Enjoy your day!If you are heading in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns!

    • #21203
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry,
      Well done on your 1 year anniversary, I hope it is the first of many! You have done extremely well and should be so very proud of what you have achieved, not only have you helped yourself you have helped so many other people along the way.
      Have a great weekend and gamble free one at that!
      Cheers
      CarlMy soul is back

    • #21204
      cully21
      Participant

      Happy anniversary Larry.
      Thanks for being who you are. I am 12 weeks clean and it went by kind of fast. Almost a 1/4 of a year.
      God Bless my Friend,
      Cully21

    • #21205
      kathryn
      Participant

      Larry,
      I posted on your pledge thread by mistake..so ill say it once more here…CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxxTo live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan

    • #21206
      howanan
      Participant

      One Year, Doesn’t it feel wonderful.
      NancyWhat lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us………….

    • #21207
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  I wanted to add my sincere congratulations for your gamble-free year!!  I loved your post on your anniversary day … gives me hope to continue.  While my journey has been significantly bumpier than yours this year (with regard to giving in to urges), I count it as a year in recovery, and one that could have been WAY worse had I not been making the effort. 
      Thank you for being here Larry, to share your story and for your endless support.  I have learned much from you.
      Love,
      RGMay you be safe and happy.  May you be peaceful.

    • #21208
      kwbwmom
      Participant

      Larry
      I am truly humbled and inspired by your journey and  your accomplishment! Congratulations."Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

    • #21209
      vera
      Participant

      Larry, you are the very first person I am using my brand new laptop to post to! Got a present of it from my husband tonight!
      All day and night ( I was working nights last week) on the 13th, I kept thinking it was your one year milestone, and after all the support you have given everybody, I had no way to contact you to say "Well Done"…So better late than never Larry! Nobody deserves congratulations better than you.
      365 days, one at a time!
      take a bow!

    • #21210
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Always nice to see you in group.  You are so supportive of everyone, i hope you feel supported too.  Thanks for being a one year inspiration to us Larry.. I wish i had stuck with you from the beginning instead of all the slips along the way but we live and learn and finally i feel like i am in that space to move forward
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21211
      davlen 2
      Participant

      Hi Larry.
       thanks for your post on my thread and for bringing my older threads back to life!
      i dont think i have had the pleasure to chat to you before so i just caught up on you first post and your 1 year post.
      i have to agree with you that there is no better feeling than reaching the year mark. all the emotions effort and commitment you have shown over that time really fills you with a sense of achievment. congratulations!!!!!!
       i have no doubl if you carry on what you are doing every day and the thought process that you use in combatting the gambling demons then you will see many more gamble free, fulfilling years.
      Regards Dave

    • #21212
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I feel compelled to write to you, im not sure why, maybe its your absolute sincere words you post to others, including me, maybe i feel that you truly take the time to read posts, and find valid and important points to discuss, maybe its just because i know you listen, and maybe its all of the above (more likely!!!)
      My week has been very sad, my sister, who i love dearly is in immense pain that i cannot relieve. I can do nothing and feeling powerless has become something i have accepted in my life, but in this situation, well, what can i do.  As i sit here im feeling totally helpless, useless, and not in control which i dont like.  Being so far away from her is painful, i miss her already, and her children who i love. 
      My brother in law was a great adventurer, as i told my neice, she had an amazing upbringing, living on an island on their own, being able to explore, fish and see the wonders of this world right at their front door, all the while her father there for her, teaching her about things i will never learn, and how lucky was she to have such an amazing role model in her life, even though he was hot headed!!!  Someone described him perfectly, a mixture of Steve Irwin and Bear Grills…i always smile when i think of that.
      He was in no way perfect, but then who is?  I just hope that he realises just what he taught his children, how magical their life was, although im sure they didnt like it much at the time…but we always want what we havent got, and as children its always tenfold.
      It is a tragedy what has happened, a terrible accident that is too bizarre to believe, but it has happened, and they all have to move on, eventually.
      Larry, thank you for letting me write on your thread, i dont need a reply, i just needed to get that out,  and i know that you wouldnt mind, i just feel that you would understand.
      Take care, Kathryn xxxx
       To live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan

    • #21213
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by Kathryn

      Hi Larry,
      I feel compelled to write to you, …
      To live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan
      Good evening Kathryn,
      I am happy that whatever compelling force that came over you sent you to my topic. Your kind words are very much appreciated; and your visits are always welcome. I have replied to your post in your topic in more detail.
      Again, I am sorry for your loss.
      God’s speed.Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21214
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Hope all is well for you and you are having a good day/night when you read this.. i always find something useful in the words you write and thank you for your support with posting and on group chat.. You are a great inspiration for me, I know we started close in time but our paths in this recovery have been very different with you going the distance and me slipping up along the way.. feel like i am on even ground these days which is a great feeling.. anyway just wanted to say hi today
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21215
      paul315
      Participant

      August 29, 2005
      The My Journal Forum is to "Talk about the life you led, …", and so I would like to say a few words about my life 5 years ago today; the day Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.   All the news stations here are centering on this being the 5th anniversary and with all the hype and reshowing of the news clips it is more than I care to see so a momentary distraction by posting here is a relief.
      The only reference to my gambling addiction that already had a grip on me at the time is that the night before I walked over to the casino to spend the night and ride the storm out, only to find it closed, boarded up – this was a blow to my then way of life, it gave me a feeling of being hurt, lost, and deserted, a gamblers nightmare.  But soon after, the following morning, that feeling of regret was replaced with a need of survival, not escape. I don’t remember when my next gambling episode was but it was after I was safe and facing some needed changes in my living arrangements. Too bad I did not face the needed changes in my life style at the same time.
      Following is a brief description of the events that I lived through. It was an ordeal but I got out and five years later I am still out.  (If anyone would like to read a purely start-up and very ruff draft of my accounts concerning Katrina, you can find it at this link.  It is too long to post here and is not complete but does give the gist of the experience; I never had the heart to edit or finish it, maybe one day, but not today.
          https://acrobat.com/#d=CpNHdJMYZIdcRAd*bCRBqA )
       
      Five days after Hurricane Katrina I was evacuated from the New Orleans Convention Center staging area to Ft Chaffee (Fort Smith) Arkansas.  From there I was picked up by my
      daughter and son-in-law and driven to their home in St. Louis Missouri. There I was united with
      my new granddaughter, my son, and other family and friends. It was one of the happiest days of my life. The day before were indescribable and unbelievable.  All the pictures that went out over the airways could not and did not carry the true picture.
       
      My daughter and her husband had organized a trip to get me out soon after Katrina hit and drove down to pick up me and a friend. They did this out of pure love, leaving their new seven month old baby at home with grandma. They never told me of the planes until after they were on their way of I would have done all I could to stop them – at the time it only looked like another storm that always seamed to pass over, and later it was obvious it was to dangerous for them, and to much of a sacrifice leaving a baby.
      But they ventured out and even with all the difficulties, detours and delays caused by the
      storm, their trip went quite well until they reached the very outskirts or New Orleans. However, during that time a lot of different, disappointing and frustrating events delayed my rescue. (There are a lot of stories about their efforts, and other efforts made by other friends and family)  But  after different failed tries to get us out, we made it out and fortunately we did not have to stay in the Super Dome or the Convention Center during the long wait, or even have to wait in line with the mass of people that formed outside the Center when things got to far out of hand on the inside of the dome and center. Instead was able to "wait in line" about 10 blocks away in my French Quarter apartment until my ceiling fell down because of the water that leaked down from the apartment above because of the rain that blew in during the storm. After that I stayed with my friend – we would have been at the end of the line waiting for a bus at either the staging area or at our apartments; the damaged apartments were more suitable for living than the streets. And on that sixth day, we got on the very last bus leaving that area.

      Only through a miracle was I able to keep in contact with my daughter so that we could arrange the final rondevu; a phone chain between me and her work number was keep open when ALL other lines of communication were down. No cell phone use, no land lines going out of the quarter, only incoming to the few lines that were still operative, except the one connection that I found to her 800 number. Others may have had similar use, but I never heard of any. I also had a short period of time for Internet usage before my laptop battery when dead, and was abet to contact my family in France about the situation – for this I am equally grateful.
      Thanks for listing. It is something that has been on my mind these past few days; a stressful period that being here has helped me survive and to stay gambling free.
       Larry"Day Two Is Another Day Behind" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will continue to be  gambling free.

    • #21216
      kathryn
      Participant

      Larry,
      An amazing story of survival,  could it be, that your higher power knew that there were other things waiting for you out there?  That you were still needed in this world (not to mention this fourm) and that you were given an incredible lifeline.  I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the  part you play in this community is more than enough reason in my eyes.  In reality, im sure we are but a small part of your life, but i know that my life would not be the same without you in it.  I can only imagine the relief your family felt, knowing you were safe.
      5 years, i didnt realise that time had gone so fast, of course, me, on the other side of the world only saw small snippets of Katrina’s devistation, we do not have hurricanes (or anything else besides drought) in my part of the world, but i did see a show on Oprah, headlining what Katrina had done.  
      I have just written a big post, moaning about my life, woe is me……well, your post makes me see the good in my life, and i thank you for that Larry.  I only hope that i can remember, that no matter how hard my life is, by the grace of god it could be so much worse.
      Take care, bye for now, Kathryn xxTo live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan

    • #21217
      sherry123
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing your experience Larry.  I’m sorry you had to go through Katrina but glad that your life path was changed. I agree, things happen for a reason…we may never fully understand it now but maybe someday.
       If you want to know your past; look into your present conditions.If you want to know your future; look into your present actions.~Roy Mathews

    • #21218
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      Been thinking about you every time i heard the word "Katrina" this week. My child was working in New York on 9/11 so I know the panic of not being able to reach a loved one in a crisis.
      But u survived then and u survived today and u will survive tomorrow because it was just ment to be that way.And I for one am glad for that!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21219
      paul315
      Participant

      September 7,
      I don’t post to this thread often, mostly to document special events pertaining to my recovery, but will use it today to tell of a different event. Today is my birthday and I am grateful that I can start the day by logging on to this site. I have no special plans for today other than enjoying my gambling free time as I have since my last birthday. I will go about this in a celebratory manor since I am a die-hard at recognizing such events and holidays on the-day-of, and not the week-end-of or other more convenient day.
      However, I do recognize that the ones I would like to celebrate with have conflicting obligations (except for the somewhat captive audience here; thanks to this 24 hour service, I can barge into your lives at any time) so their planed celebration.for me will wait until the week-end. Saturday we are going to see the UK’s ABBA Tribute Band, Arrival, perform with our St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. It has been years since I enjoyed "Take a Chance on Me"  or "I Have a Dream" (and somehow "The Winner Takes It All", now has a new meaning to me), but the "Momma Mia" movie got my daughter and granddaughter into this music and she remembers my playing it years ago; so I will go back in time and celebrate and say "Thank You for the Music".
      And while only a year ago, my addiction, the god I put before my own, was the winner that took it all; today I am the true winner — eventhough the losses were dear. 
      "The Winner Takes It All":    
      …"The gods may throw a dice
      Their minds as cold as ice
      And someone way down here
      Loses someone dear
      The winner takes it all
      The loser has to fall
      It’s simple and it’s plain
      Why should I complain." …
       
      God’s speed to those here that I am sharing today’s celebration with.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21220
      vera
      Participant

       
      HAPPY birthday LARRY!
      join the line of winners! you deserve a celebration!
      NICE TO SEE YOU POSTING TO YOUR OWN THREAD!
       

    • #21221
      vera
      Participant

      Larry. I just saw on the chat that you were wondering about the flash…The free version was for 32 bit. This laptop is 64 bit. I had no idea how to change that and since my son who does all that for me, is away, I took it to an IT shop and they charged 25 euro. It means I can listen to music on You tube and I dont know how, but for the first time tonight I was able to connect to safe harbour!
      Thanks for checking in.
      God bless!
       

    • #21222
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      well I am terribly disappointed in myself that I have not read your thread for a little while.   I was stopping by to ask how the new bed is?  Such a comfort is our bed.  And I see that I have missed two very important events in your life.  The 5th anniversary of Katrina and your Birthday.  One was a terror and one is a milestone but both are reminders to me of how lucky we are to have you.  Truly.  I don’t think I could say it any better than Kathryn did above.  So happy belated birthday to a man who has been such an inspiration.  Someday i would love to have a coffee together.
      take care,
      Laura

    • #21223
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      I am ashamed of my self also! Happy Belated Birthday! You are a gift to us all, don’t ever forget it!
      The other girls want coffee i see. Maybe one day, it the stars align…..
      peace
      bettie

    • #21224
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by kathryn in her topic,  BELIEVE (new thread) 

      I wasnt going to write this post, but i feel it is important …

      I wasn’t going to write this post, but I feel it is important, Kathryn started a post with these words to tell of an uncomfortable situation she experienced; I as using the same beginning to tell of a similar one.
      This week-end I made a short trip to see Merle Haggard, and American Country singer – an Icon, in Tunica Mississippi. Tunica is basically a casino resort area and the concert was being held in one of the casinos auditorium. I rented a car, bought a concert ticket, and made reservations at the hotel in the same casino. The room and dinner were a free offer for my birthday; part of the player benefits I had earned (accumulated through my vast losses) from my past years of gambling at this chain of casinos. 
      I planed my trip so I would get there around 5 o’clock, have time to freshen up, have dinner, and then go to the concert, back to my room and home he nest morning; an evening all planed out. Then one of lives unexpected changes happened, Merle cancelled the concert due to illness. I was left with an evening empty of plans. There was still dinner, but when I went down to the buffet there was a long line the winded around the slot machine area. Here is where the discomfort started. I was use to going to the bus stop at a casino here, and even to a buffet in casino hotels; but these places are separate from the gambling areas. Here I was to have to wait in line near the slot machines; I could not do it, I had to leave and return to my room. It was the first time in months that a real urge to gamble took over.
      I guess you can say I ran to my room to hide; or I was "sent to my room without supper" like a bad boy.  Thankfully I had my laptop with me and logged on to a GA site and read over some of their pamphlets and guidelines. Then I logged on to the open chat here at GT and chatted the evening away with Betty.  Thanks again Betty.
      Because something unforeseen happened I was left with my barriers confermized; I had extra cash on hand, I had a night out without definite plans, and I was away from home out of my comfort zone. I realized that I still have a long way to go in my recovery, that caution has to be a constant companion.
      So what was to be an enjoyable time turned out to be a stressful one; but also turned out to be a beneficial virtual type GA meeting, one with a extra long commute.  I will be happy to attend the real one a couple blocks away tomorrow night.
      God’s speed to all. Stay strong.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21225
      sherry123
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing your story Paul.  You had time and money and made the ‘choice’ not to gamble.  That’s real recovery when you can make the right choice when the wrong choice was right in your face.  I love a happy ending.If you want to know your past; look into your present conditions.If you want to know your future; look into your present actions.~Roy Mathews

    • #21226
      finding_laura
      Participant

      I love a happy ending too.   I’m glad that you made it back safe and sound and gamble free.  And I’m happy that you and Bettie kept each other company as well.  Time well spent for the both of you I would imagine.  Thanks for sharing the reminder.
      Laura

    • #21227
      vera
      Participant

      Merle Haggard owes you one Larry!
      Get in touch and tell him your story!
      Could be interesting ..

    • #21228
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      I am a believer in fate. I, for the very first time, was able to get into safeharbour on saturday. I left the GT chat open just in case any of my friends showed up. It was a long time before I heard you chime in.
      Something told me stay open and wait. Sometimes we all need a friend.
      Thank you for being mine.
      peace
      bettie

    • #21229
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315
      … This week-end I made a short trip …

      I told about this trip at my GA meeting last night and was reminded that GA prescribed ways to have prevented my dilemma. GA tells us: "Don’t test or tempt yourself. Don’t associate with acquaintances who gamble. Don’t go in or near gambling establishments".  However, GA also tells me that through recovery we can "lead normal happy lives". Prior to this past trip, to be more precise, thirteen plus months prior to this last trip – the time before my recovery program, my addiction to compulsive gambling had complete control over my life and any possible enjoyment that I sought; it robed me of a normal happy life. I could not go to a concert back than, I had to be gambling; I could not participate in any social outing or family gathering, I had to be gambling; I could not work all of my scheduled hours, I had to be gambling. Gambling controlled my very being. This was wrong; having anything prevent someone from the pursuit of wholesome happiness is wrong. Now that I am in recovery I cannot let the recovery process prevent this God given right either; my recovery is not only a way to combat my addiction, it also allows me to live a better life.I have posted my thoughts on the first quote above on different occasions, but will repeat parts here. I do not tempt or test myself, I know that I would fail any self applied test – I would build in loop holes for me to fail; I would not go to any gambling establishment just to see if I could.  I also feel that I can venture out into a world full of the temptations placed by the gambling industry and not succumb to them; I can go to the store without buying lottery tickets, I can go to work and not join the sports pools, I can benefit from my retirement that is funded with investments without gambling in day trades or commodities, I can pass by or even enter a casino sponsored or ran facility, with proper cause, and not gamble, I can even visit and associate with some of my friends and family that do gamble and not join in on their activities. Thanks to my recovery and the help and support from my fellow gamblers here and in the GA rooms, I can live a normal life and pursue happiness.Thanks to my recovery I can fall back on what I have learned through this process whenever unforeseen events block my way or create urges if I follow other advice in the GA principles; I can "try to practice to the best of our (my) ability, certain principles in our (my) daily affairs" and I can "NOT GAMBLE FOR ANYTHING" – I can do no more and still live a normal life, I can do no less knowing that anything less would be harmful.This is where I am, and I am aware of how I got here. I also realize that each of us is unique and must follow our own ways and programs; my thoughts and actions are not advice on what others should do, my post is me sharing my story, and a reminder for me to keep aware and stay strong.And added thought to this that I just received is:

       Today’s thought from Hazelden:

      Practice being spontaneous. Practice having fun.

      The joy of recovery is that we finally get to experiment. We get to learn new behaviors, and we don’t have to do them perfectly. We only need to find a way that works for us. We even have fun experimenting, learning what we like, and how to do what we like.

      Many of us have gotten into a rut with rigidity, martyrdom, and deprivation. We may hold ourselves in check so tightly that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to try something fun anyway.

      We can let ourselves go a little now and then. We can loosen up a bit. We don’t have to be so stiff and rigid, so frightened about being who we are. Take some risks. Then, take another risk. Pick out a movie and then call a friend and invite him or her to go along. If that person says no, try someone else, or try again another time.

      Decide to try something, and then go through with it. Go once. Go twice. Practice having fun until fun becomes fun.

      Today, I will do something just for fun. I will practice having fun until I actually enjoy it.
      You are reading from the book: The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
       

      — 9/28/2010 3:29:55 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21230
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Call it intution or paranoia but I felt compelled to leave you a note today.I feel you are fighting deamons, maybe i’m way off base here. I’m sure your GA friends had a lot to say about the trip. I hope it was not discouraging to you. I’m no pro but I know what would have been said at the meeting I have been to and I don’t take critisism too well.
      Hoping all is well with you. You are a fantastic help and support to us all.
      The message that caused the uproar on the f&f forum was my foward from Marilee. I never even thought of the "other" side of that message, just the ugly feelings that apply to me, the CG, not the support/friend or family member of the CG. Looking back I can see where the "advice" could be taken as a critism, which was not my intenetion, ( and I believe not the authors intention either ). I will stay out of the f&f forum. I have no desire to hurt those already hurting. So if I caused you distress there I am sincerly sorry.
      bettie

    • #21231
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by bettie

      I feel you are fighting demons,
       

      Betty, thanks for your post and your concern and we are all fighting demons everyday; some days, thankfully most days, I find that the demons are not so prevalent but as you know, they still exist and must be dealt with. I have dealt with the recent upsurge of attacks, thanks to my friends at GA and here, and especially your presence the other night, and I am back at working on my recovery instead of battling the demons. I do find this to be a mental process and that an attitude of heading toward a better life (working recovery) is better than one of running away from the past one (surviving by only fighting the demons).
      I have found a lot of advice on how to handle the situation I was in, from should-not-have-gone, to the sharing of other’s fears of not being able to survive the circumstances. Although we are all critics in a way, I do not consider any of the input to be criticism or fault findings; it is a showing of care and concern. I accept that my thoughts on how I go about living a better life may differ from others, but the differences end there. We are all in this journey together and all share the same goal – to be free of gambling and live a better life; or as Kathryn reminds us in her closings with Peter Pan’s thoughts, "To live, that would be a great adventure". I find the the adventures of life, both the good and the challenging, to be far better than the mere existing in the gambler’s world; but to enjoy these wonders, I have to step out and experience life. In doing so I cannot live in fear, I can only rely on faith in myself and my Higher Power, I cannot let recovery control by life like gambling did, I can only let it guide me.
      There my be a few somewhat academic differences in my views and those of GA, however, I find that the qualifying phrases, "of my own understanding" and "To the best of my ability" found in the GA principles, keep me in line with the intent of the program, and on tract with it’s goal – "a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem".
       
      A reply to other portions of your post here can be found in your topic. 
      LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21232
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      Thank you for your thoughtful replies here and on my thread. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday planned. Sometime all I want to talk about is recovery, sometimes I just want to live and not think about it.
      peace
      bettie

    • #21233
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Thanks for the concern and the link. I am quite ignorant of getting help for myself and afraid to ask. Why? Maybe because I think I don’t think I’m worthy or worth saving. Maybe I am just afraid. Maybe I’m just lazy and would rather complain about it and do nothing to resolve it.
      Give me a kick Larry, that what friends are for sometimes.
      Thanks!
      bettie

    • #21234
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315

      …I cannot let recovery control by life like gambling did, I can only let it guide me …
      The above line came from what I thought was to be the beginning of me posting more more often about my everyday life. However, that brief thought was interrupted by my actually living life and being more busy than I have been in quite some time. I was reminded of this post and my intent by Tim’s post about going forward with his life, so I will try to start again, but can only try.  My post in "Our Daily Pledge" comes natural after a time of meditation and "googling" subject matters pertaining to gambling, and my replies to others is an extension of that process and is also reminders and guidance for my own actions. But for me to journal an account of my daily, of even periodic, actions seams to take more effort then I care to extend (If I would curtail my thoughts it would not be a big effort).
      I am also taking this time to welcome the new members that have joined during my busy time; a belated welcome to you all – My name is Larry and I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009. 
      However, today I want to post about my activities. The reason is that it is testimony to my being in recovery and how it has allowed me to enjoy the past days. First, as I have mentioned in the chat rooms, I am moving. I don’t have a lot of things or accumulated stuff, but packing it is still occupying time between the other events. My move does have a big drawback; I will be without readily access to the Internet, I will have to go to "hot spots’ for the next few weeks.  It is hard to believe that hooking up new phone service in a large city of the USA can take 7 weeks to get to – I would think that all they would have to do is flip a switch.
      Another thing that has been keeping me busy and away from this site is that I am helping my son-in-law work on additions to their home. Not only is this time consuming, but recuperating from actually doing work and manual labor is a big thing for a old man. Nevertheless, the pleasure in helping is worth every blister and sore mussel.
      Now about the thing that has been keeping me busy the most. I have been helping my wife in France work on a paper for her work. It has to be done in English so she is sending be part of her work each day for me to make suggestions and changes to her infrequently used English. Not only is it to be in English, but some of the Queen’s English is needed and not just America’s version or that from the lads in the respective pubs and bars. So I find myself depending on a "4th G", here again I am using ‘G’oogle a lot. Doing this to me is a huge thrill, and her asking offers even a greater feeling.  It is a cross between my making amends and a virtual being there when she needs something.  Not returning to my life there and leaving her with the responsibilities of being a single parent, is one thing that still haunts me. I know that this is not opening a door for reconciliations, but it is opening the door for going forward. 
      So this is an account of my past days; and even more it is an account of the results of my living gambling free – neither gambling or recovery is controlling my life, being gambling free is letting be live it.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21235
      paul315
      Participant

       
      Originally posted by paul315
      Replies to this post from me will now be a continuation of my Journal.            

      I moved my first post with all of it’s inserts to a post on Aug 14.  It was getting too long to be shown each time I made a reply to it. I replace it with a copy of the poem that helped me to find q way to recovery with all here:
      Fellow gambler, take my hand;
      I’m your friend, I understand.
      I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;
      I’ve borne the burden of your cross.
       
      I found a friend who offered ease;
      He suffered, too, with this disease.
      Although he had no magic cure,
      He showed how we could endure.

      We walked together side by side;
      We spoke of things we had to hide.
      We told of sleepless nights and debts,
      Of broken homes and lies and threats.

      And so my weary gambler friend,
      Please take this hand that I extend.
      Take one more chance on something new,
      Another gambler helping you.
                                       
       

      Author unknown
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21236
      paul315
      Participant

       
      Originally posted by paul315
      Replies to this post from me will now be a continuation of my Journal.            

      I moved my first post with all of it’s inserts to a post on Aug 14.  It was getting too long to be shown each time I made a reply to it. I replace it with a copy of the poem that helped me to find q way to recovery with all here:
      Fellow gambler, take my hand;
      I’m your friend, I understand.
      I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;
      I’ve borne the burden of your cross.
       
      I found a friend who offered ease;
      He suffered, too, with this disease.
      Although he had no magic cure,
      He showed how we could endure.

      We walked together side by side;
      We spoke of things we had to hide.
      We told of sleepless nights and debts,
      Of broken homes and lies and threats.

      And so my weary gambler friend,
      Please take this hand that I extend.
      Take one more chance on something new,
      Another gambler helping you.
                                       
       

      Author unknown
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21237
      paul315
      Participant

      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware.
      LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21238
      paul315
      Participant

    • #21239
      paul315
      Participant
    • #21240
      vera
      Participant

      is this only for your own use or can others peply Larry?
      Anyway, I ll take a chance!
      I just want to wish you all the best as you move to your new home.
      Many happy days and nights ahead to relax and enjoy life by your own fireside instead of warming your butt on a casino stool!
      and it’s all thanks to your emormous effort to make recovery a success for yourself and so many others here.
      One day at a time!
      Long live the 3 Gs!
       

    • #21241
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by vera

      is this only for your own use or can others peply Larry?

      No, this is for ALL replies. 
      I tried to edit my first post so that it would not be the first thing I saw when I replied to my own. Not that I don’t want it to be seen, it is just a collection of a lot of post that is way to long to show up each time.  In doing that I duplicated the change a couple of times and added a couple of blank pages. and it still shows up unedited when I quote; As you can see I am not too savvy about  computer use — but I do have my web Cam on you – lol.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21242
      vera
      Participant

      youre scaring me Larry!

    • #21243
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Just thinking about you. Hope the move is going well. Miss seeing your posts but know the situtation.
      God’s speed
      bettie

    • #21244
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning 
      Betty, I just logged on at a local coffee shop and your post greeted me, it was a nice morning treat. 
      It has been a few day since I have logged on and I am slowing catching up on the post I have missed. I am doing good, still gambling free and working on my recovery program. It is quite different for me to read hard copies of the few publications I have and not being able to link to any other references. I am going to have to add a 4th "G" to my group of helping sources; Google. Being able to surf to other areas is a benefit in meditating and keeping aware.
      I am finally getting settled in to my new apartment, I keep rearranging things trying to get the right feel; in the efficiency one it didn’t make much difference which corner I put things. I still have to wait until November 9 to have phone and Internet service; don’t miss the phone but I do miss Internet service, it is my connection to the world, both my friends here and my family in other locations. It is a strange thing to me to be living in a large city in the USA, and having to wait over a month for phone service.
      Hopefully I will be posting more regularly soon. Until then, stay strong, keep aware.
      God’s speed.
      LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21245
      bettie
      Participant

      WONDERFUL LARRY!!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21246
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Glad to see you popping in, thank you for all your support and nice messages to me they really help and i appreciate every word
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21247
      vera
      Participant

      another test of patience Larry!
      Waiting for the internet connection is a bit like a child waiting for Santa!
      Roll on November 9th!
      On that day my son will be coming from Holland on a two night trip.
      I will have completed a week of night duty ( which Im sort of dreading this time round), and I will be heading into a week off….
      How we wish our lives away!
      If you read this, I hope you are settling into your new home!
       

    • #21248
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning all,
      Another morning at a cyber cafe trying to catch up on everyone, and just as important, trying to work on my recovery. My being absent from the GT site and even missing my last GA meeting has cause me to have the same thoughts as DD posted about "I think that I am better". Thinking that since I have stayed gambling free while being away from any daily contact that it is "I" that is the one who is stronger and can overcome any urges that might send me back to gambling; that "I" can control gambling. And although I regret that she has slipped, I am grateful for her account of her actions; stories like these and post from all the new members help keep me aware of where I would be if I depended on my own self will – I need my recovery program to keep me gambling free, it is "it" and not I that is working in my life.
      I might not need a daily connection or a meeting every week, but I do need a consistent contact. There may be times that I cannot log on or attend meetings, but I can keep aware of the fact that it is my 3 Gs that keep me.
      Thank you all. And thanks to Collin’s post bout "No Coincidence":
      "When you look through the stories here you will see a lot of success.
      It’s NO coincidence that those who are successful CONTINUE to use the support they have here,
      It’s NO coincidence that those who are successful listen to, and act on, the advice that is given
      It’s NO coincidence that those who are successful are honest with their husbands/wives/partners
      It’s NO coincidence that those who are successful often use, and continue to use other forms of support, attend GA meetings etc
      Its NO coincidence that those who are successful are prepared to take tough steps to help themselves
      Unfortunately it’s also NO coincidence that people who stop using the forum often return in deeper trouble than they were to start with
      That those who struggle aren’t prepared to be honest with husbands/wives/partners
      That they don’t act on advice
      That they give reasons/excuses why they can’t do something
      That even though what they are doing isn’t working they aren’t prepared to try GA or other forms of support
      That they aren’t prepared to take some of the tougher steps required to deal with a tough addiction.
      I don’t believe in coincidences, nor should you. 
      If you are struggling then look at what is working for someone else – it’s working for a reason and it isn’t a coincidence. 
       If you are doing well and think you don’t need support anymore?  Look at the people who have previously thought that and return here on an almost daily basis – that isn’t a coincidence either."
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware. Use your Higher Power, actively participate in the programs that can help you.
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21249
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      Nice to see your post. Talk about "working" your recovery! Having to sit in a cafe’ to come here takes effort, esp when we get spoiled having the internet at home. Yet another blessing we sometimes take for granted.
      Hope your place is feeling more like home.
      peace
      bettie

    • #21250
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Nice to see a post from you.. glad you are so honest with yourself and everyone else, i think your recovery is really wonderful.. i am on day 3 but i feel different, maybe because i am going to ga twice a week, starting counselling tomorrow and back here for groups almost daily.. it sure is no coincidence.. maybe its taken me all this time to finally "get it"  sure hope so..
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21251
      bettie
      Participant

      9 days and counting Larry!
      Just thinking about u, hope things are progressing along.
      Peace
      bettie

    • #21252
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by bettie

      9 days and counting …

      Good morning Betty,
      I am sitting at Micky D’s using their wifi catching up on a little in the world of cyberspace. Reading your post about the "days" remind me of the days I counted off when I first started on this program of recovery – before that I never made it to nine days; I made it to 7 a few times, the time between checks. But like GA ask us to do in our recovery, "Be patient …", I am being patient in waiting for phone and Internet service. Even in being patient, I have been able to rush the connection a bit; I should now be on line on the 3rd.
      The last time my Internet access was limited this much it was for reasons out of my control too; the limitations were due to the all the time I had to be at the casino. The time before that was due to a natural disaster, a so called "Act of God". Now thanks to each day of being gambling free, and to a true Act of God, I take each change and challenge placed upon me in stride without the need to gamble.  My cyber connection my be interrupted, but my connection to all those here is strong.
      Hope all is going well for you and the others here. I know that things have been ruff for some, but also know that being patient will lead to a more satisfying result.
      God’s speed. 
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21253
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      You paitence is being paid back with a reward! See, good things do happen for those who wait! And thank you, all in all i am doing well.
      Hope to catch u on a chat soon!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21254
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      I was happy to see a post from you today.. sounds like you are getting in some much needed internet time at Macca’s as us Aussies often refer to it as… I am wishing you a speedy internet connection real soon.. thanks for being on this journey with us Larry
      P – Living and Learning

    • #21255
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Good morning.. I hope u are reading this at home!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21256
      paul315
      Participant

      Betty,
      Thanks for keeping me in mind, and yes I am reading your post and responding to it from home. It is nice to be connected via my own connection once again.
      I see that there has been a few new members during my limited visits, if any read this, I hope that you will all benefit from the same type help and encouragement that I have received here, help that has keep me gambling free and working on recovery. Not gambling is not to hard – if it is done one day at a time and you keep putting off any urges to gamble until the following day; then just like in shampoo instructions, repeat this each day. Working on recovery is a little harder; you must accept the truth and do things that causes needed changes in your life and character that are contrary to the way “you” have been acting and living. But, the reward is worth the effort.
      God’s speed to all.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21257
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      So glad you have that connection again, yey.. i like the reminder to just keep putting those urges off till the next day, i have to keep remembering that too.. see you soon Larry
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21258
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hi Larry:  Thank you, once more, for your well-considered comments and wisdom.  I really like the 7 Ts.  I hadn’t heard of it before. I have tried the movie replay in it’s traditional form (drive to casino, excitedly plan which machines I’ll hit first, imagine holding out my hand, palm up and flat, to receive jackpot … and all the other hogwash!!), and it hasn’t worked for me thus far, but I do create other scenarios in my head.  I guess these scenarios really are a part of the movie, now that I think about it. 
      I imagine driving home, sickened, even covered in a thin film of sweat, like I have a fever.  Having to walk into my house and to be hit with guilt immediately as my dog and my kids race to hug me.  Then, watching my husband’s smile turn into hurt, then horror, as I tell him how much I syphoned from the accounts. Oy … makes me ill just writing it now.
      You’ve been a great model for me, Larry (albeit than I haven’t been the ultimate student).  Keep going on your wonderful progress.
      Love, RG May you be safe and happy.  May you be peaceful.

    • #21259
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Hope you are having a good day in your neck of the woods… thanks for being such a good role model for us larry.. it really helps and i always take away something useful from your postsl
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21260
      howanan
      Participant

      Hi Larry,   I just wanted you to know that the post you made on P’s thread about the fruits of the spirit really struck a cord with me.  I have studied that scripture before, but for some reason it has been heavy on my heart after reading your post.  I too have "The Daily Bread" and read that page the same evening.  I also went on GotQuestions.org and asked about the fruits of the spirit.  I am meditating on this subject this week and hopefully much longer. 
      Thanks Larry …. Nancy

    • #21261
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry!
      Thanks for telling me about Black   Friday!
      Will that day ever come for me?
      When it does I will be free of debt.
      When Im free of debt, I will be truely FREE!

    • #21262
      p
      Participant

      Hey larry
      Hope you are having a good day.. just raising my coffee cup to my GT friends
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21263
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by P

      Hey larry
      Hope you are having a good day..

      Thanks for the post P, and for sharing in the coffee, I wish we had some fine pastries to go with it.
      My day yesterday was good but it took a turn for the worst. I learned that my nice died. She has been living with a few medical and neurological problems in addition to a lot of turmoil since her father died last year. However, she is now at rest. I was ten when she was born so in a way we grew up together. During her adult life we both worked for the Government and I watched her advance from an office clerk to being the Inspector General in one top Agency and the Comptroller General in another. All of this starting with only a High School Diploma and getting her higher degrees during her working career; she did good with her life until a disease struck her down. A disease that could not be arrested like the one I am recovering from. 
      Life is full of turns and adversities, my only thoughts are Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; also one of my favorite songs now playing in the background. I will miss her and have fond memories on the good times – RIP "Bebbo"
      God’s speed.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21264
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      My condolences on losing your niece. Always hurts to loose someone.
      Take care of yourself.
      peace
      bettie

    • #21265
      paul315
      Participant

      Thanksgiving Day in the US
      My first thoughts of being thankful today goes to my Higher Power and the friends that I have found and depended upon in my recovery, without God and you here I do not know where I would be; most likely either dead or once again heading out for another trip to the casino to celebrate by lying and and adding to my guild and remorse.  Thanks and God’s Blessings to each and everyone.
      Additional thanks goes out for my family and friends. Some may be miles away, but I am still thankful that they are a large part of my life, albeit now only in thoughts, memories, and hopes.  Others may have passed on in death, but I  remain thankful for knowing them.  But my greatest thanks is for being able to just think about that which I am thankful. To be able to recognize and absorb the love of my family and friends that surrounds me instead of my isolating myself and causing me to just being in their prayers for my deliverance, is what recovery has bestowed upon my life.
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware. Be Thankful.
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21266
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good evening Larry,
      I find great comfort in your posts.  The kind and caring words of advice and support.  It must have been a shock to lose your niece, who was probably more like a close cousin to you.  You can hear your pride as you outline her accomplishments. I’m sorry for your loss. 
      Thank-you for setting me straight in regards to Thanksgiving.  Although the end result of my confusion was that I thought about giving thanks a little more often which isn’t a bad thing.  So my dear GT friend, I give thanks for your support and friendship. Stop by any time you’d like, the coffee pot is always on.
      Take care,
      Laura

    • #21267
      lizbeth4
      Participant

      Enjoy your posts!!  At Thanksgiving Dinner, I looked around and thought how lucky I am for my wonderful family.  I was soo used to isolating myself while gambling, and it felt so good to be surrounded by love.  Later that evening, my oldest daughter posted on my facebook, how lucky she was to have me as her mother, and her sons grandmother.  I finally am feeling again, not just walking around numb.  Thanks again.Seize all the good things in life

    • #21268
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good morning Larry,
      I see my friend and GT neighbour is here for morning coffee.  The pot is on as usual this morning.  I have had a bit of time to do some reading, posting and reflecting.  Now its time to focus on one of those GC traits,well, mine anyway,  procrastination.  I have my list made and want to go into my vacation week next week with as clean a slate as possible.  I hope that you have a good day today Larry, as I always do.  Bless you.
      Laura 

    • #21269
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by finding_Laura

      Good morning Larry,
      …  The pot is on as usual this morning. …
       …  Now its time to focus on one of those GC traits,well, mine anyway,  procrastination …

      You will have to savor the coffee by yourself today, at least during my time online. I am in New Orleans and have to go out for my coffee later – is this considered procrastination?; oh well I will think about that later.  Have a nice day and even nicer vacation.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21270
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      I can’t sleep so getting a few posts in to keep me sane hehe.. Hope you are having a good day wherever you are, in New Orleans i see, so whatever you are doing I hope you are feeling some joy from something today… what a marvellous role model you are here now Larry.. your posts are always full of something that makes me think
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21271
      kwbwmom
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Hope you are enjoying  your vacation. I posted somthing in my thread last night and am interested in your insight. YOu have been a great inspiration to me. I’m still new to the GA meetings.. made my 5th meeting last night. Yahooo… It has been a surce of comfort for me and I am learning so much. But last night’s meeting leftme feeling a bit empty.
      Thanks,
      Carol"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

    • #21272
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315

      My Answers to Gamblers Anonymous’ Twenty Questions 
             …        18.  Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
                       Yes, not any arguments, but the disappointments and frustrations of the gambling 
                       in it’s self causes me to want to gamble more.

      Good morning all, and particularly to the new members.
      There have many new faces showing up here during the beginning of the holiday season and I have been remiss in welcoming you; so I now give a sincere welcome to each of you. I have posted many times that you are the most important people on this site; you are reminding us that the ways of gambling have not changed and that the outcome is still the same – we do not have to go back into that abbess to see for ourselves.
      And just as you have helped us, maybe we can help you. You will find here that there is a better way to live and that recovery is possible. You will also see that it is not easy, but, once you have accepted the facts so thoughtfully outlined in the first steps of the Gamblers Anonymous Recovery Program, you will know that it is possible.  There are other programs for recovery that help as well, but these first three principles are the foundation of the beginning:
      THE RECOVERY PROGRAM
      Here are the steps which are a program of recovery:
      1. We admitted that we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.
      2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
      3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
      This season brings many new members because of the frustrations of our failure to provide for happier celebrations and a better New Year. We realize that gambling has taken this from us; has not only robbed us, but has denied our families the happiness of these occasions. One of the best things about this time of frustration, disappointments and loss, is that we can use this low point in our lives as a turning point. It is easier to start on the road to recovery when we are down than when things are going seemingly well. Take advantage of it and turn your life around for the future that living gambling free will allow.
      GA also provides a list of 20 Questions to help us see that we have crossed over the line and have become addicted to compulsive gambling. When answering these questions, I answered yes to all, save the one about good fortune giving me a reason to gamble – I was not experiencing any good fortune at the time.  However, since I have been gambling free I have begun to experience this and am also able to now answer "No" to Question 18 above (it is the only one that speaks of today, and not the past). Thanks to my recovery; to the people in rooms like the ones here and at GA; to my Higher Power; and, my not gambling for anything, I no longer have to struggle with these urges. The barriers that I have in place, and the changes to my character and lifestyle have allowed me to combat such times and face the fact that hard times and adversities happen – that the things that I was trying to escape from is part of life and hiding from them in a casino would not change or relieve them. That gambling only added to and intensified my problems. Recovery does not happen over night, but, the problems that gambling will cause does stop immediately once we make the choice not to gamble for anything.
      In closing, again welcome to GT, a place that you to can learn to answer No to question 18, and have a better holiday in the ones to come.
      God’s speed, use your Higher Power to guide and strengthen you.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21273
      female g
      Participant

      Thanks for your response just to let you know I am taking it all in and will think long and hard about it all.G

    • #21274
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Hope you are having a good day in your recovery today.. i am having some urges but who wants to go back there when we have had a taste of the gamble free life!!!
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21275
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      My wise friend! I have learned so much from you! Talk about getting step 12 down!
      You have been a good friend to find here and I thank you!
      Merry Christmas!
      bettie

    • #21276
      paul315
      Participant

       
      As posted by Laura, "it seems I am running out of time to make personal and individual Christmas wishes". Nevertheless I will take this time to wish everyone here "the most of the best to all of you" (I just watched a very old, 1939, Christmas Greeting from the Hardy Family movies with Micky Rooney; for you oldsters, and the curious young, see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dumD-DI7_4).
      So like that long-ago movie family, I can’t forget one of the most important things in my recovery, I would not exist if not for each and everyone of you in my recovery family; you all helped hold me together during my tyring times.
      From the bottom of my heart, I extend these sentiments with my profound gratitude, prayers, and best wishes for the happiest of Holidays to you and yours.
      Merry Christmas!
      "God bless us everyone" – Timothy CratchitLarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21277
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Sending Christmas wished from Oz….our day is done here and yours is proboably just beginning.
      I truly hope, that you have a wonderful day, that you enjoy yourself, that you take time to think about Christmas’ past and realise just how far you have come in your recovery.
      Eat, drink and be merry,
      Merry Christmas
      Kathryn xxxxTo live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan

    • #21278
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Happy Xmas Larry!My soul is back

    • #21279
      christinamary
      Participant

      I love that "my soul is back"  gambling does suck the soul right out of people.  Merry Christmas!

    • #21280
      tim
      Participant

      Hi larry,
      Just wanted to thank you for your support in my diary and to offer my best for the New year ahead.
      One of the many things i trully admire about how you work your recovery is your total focus and dedication. You seem to read people’s posts with great thought and care, almost with a forensic examination. You then pick out the salient points to reflect back to the author with your observations. I also note that you do this consistently and over time.
      I think that this is a great quality to posses and develope in recovery.. that being the ability to train ones mind to read to understand to think to focus to reflect to imagine and to learn from and through the experiences of others as well as ones own experinces.
      I guess these skills are something that we all posses but from my own perspective something that i don’t do nearly enough. It is something i want to work on and will work on. It so easy to become lazy in thought and action. The dream world of the compulsive gambler is certainly something that I relate to. So easy to idle away time thinking about doing but not actually doing.
      Anyway thanks again for your support larry. I take your thoughts on board thats for sure. keep doing what you do to keep yourself safe from gambling.
      Kind regards
      Tim Taking life one day at a time as always.

    • #21281
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      thanks for stopping by this morning with well wishes for 2011.
      Somehow, as promised, the days add up.  One day at a time, 2010 became a complete year of recovery.  Thank-you for your company along the way.  My journey has been all the richer for it. Without your patience, good advice and firm kindness this road to recovery could have been far bumpier for a lot of us.  May 2011 continue to bring us insight and balance.  God bless you Larry.  The coffee pot is always on my friend.
      Happy Gamble Free New Year
      Love Laura
      xoxo
       

    • #21282
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      I hope you had a great christmas and new year and thank you for being part of my 2010.. here is to a gamble free year again for you and a new one for me for 2011.. well done Larry and thank you for all the support and friendship you have offered..
      P – Living and Learning

    • #21283
      velvet
      Moderator

      Dear Larry
      I thought you would like to know that I have spent hours turning over the yolk and separating it from the white.   I do intend to give it more thought but I keep ending up back at the beginning each time I start.   I hope I can sleep tonight without scrambling eggs in my dreams.  Thank you for your post.  As always you give so much food for thought and I enjoy that sort of food immensely.  You are really, really appreciated.
      Love
      V xxx
       

    • #21284
      paul315
      Participant

      February 13, 2011 –   18 Months Gambling Free
      Good morning all,
      It has been a while since I have posted to this topic but today is a good day to post to myself. It is good to have reached this milestone; not a milestone recognized with the mementos handed out at my GA meetings, but one for me nevertheless. For me it is a good time to reflect on the difference that being gambling free and working on recovery has made. 
      But first I would like to welcome any newcomers that I may have missed in the past few days due to unforeseen events, and apologize to any others that I have not replied to. To the newcomers; welcome to GT, my name is Larry and I am a compulsive gambler. My last bet was August 13, 2009 – 18 months ago. Use this site and the stories and advice found here to help guide your actions for you to be gambling free also. Find a recovery program or plan and stick to it.  It works if you work it, it wont it you don’t.
      To reply to another post asking how being gambling free has changed my life; I would say that my being here is the biggest change. I am here accepting the truth that I am powerless over gambling and that my life had become unmanageable, and that a power greater than myself could bring change about. I am here working on this change instead of denying my need for it, or justifying any hesitation or willingness to do what it takes for me to overcome the overpowering addiction of compulsive gambling – one of the most baffling insidious addiction known.  It is a big change from the old addict that I had become to being a recovering compulsive gambler living a gambling free life.
       
      The past week with ongoing events that have surrounded me for the past year has made me realize another change in my life. My brother died a little over a year ago, his daughter a couple of months ago, and now his willow has followed in death this past week. The change in me that I have noticed during these adversities is that I faced them head-on. And on a brighter side, this same change was also manifested during the many more joyful occasions that surrounds my life. I am now able to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15. In the past I would have attended these funerals with a resentment for them taking from my time at the casino, and taking my money for flowers –that is if I had not have gambled it all away beforehand. Thanks to my recovery I was able to do the right thing for others and myself’; I was able to grieve and weep with my loved ones.
      And like I pointed out above, I have also been able to celebrate and enjoy life and its glories adventures — rejoice with those that rejoice. I can partake in family and friends events without making up excuses lies to cover my absences or rushed departures. I can now enjoy the pleasant things that life holds; gambling no longer controls and replaces my happiness, or steels from the happiness of others, with the growing and continuing problems of the past that invaded most every department of our lives.
      Another change in me that I can feel every day is that I no longer have to lie; I no longer have to live in fear of being found out, I no longer have to hide or deceive.  I can be the person that I was intended to be.
      And yes, there are some regrettable things that I can not change, but I have changed in that I can accept this and not live in guilt or self-pity; thanks to my Higher Power, I have the "serenity to accept the things I cannot change". "If onlys" still haunts me but, they or now memories, memories that may even still form a tear, but I now have "closure"; I do not dwell on the uncertainties of life, I rejoice in the adventures that do exist. 
      These are an outline of the benefits I have experience through recovery. They do not detail the everyday little things that bring on a smile or "butterflies in the stomach", the enjoyment of the beauties and wonders of nature, the bathing in God’s marvelous ways, or even the tears of happiness; they merely point out that I am living a far better life.
      God’s speed to all. Work and practice your recovery. Let go and let God.  Live a gambling free life.  Live life.
      Eighteen months — One Day At A Time.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 2/13/2011 3:09:30 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21285
      finding_laura
      Participant

      ((( Larry )))  I am so proud to walk with you on this road of recovery.  You have stayed focused  on your recovery, using all the tools that you could and sharing those with others.  I have heard it said many times that we need to be selfish in our recovery.  That we need to focus on making ourselves better and that we can’t do it for anyone else.  Yet your journey has included helping others who struggle with being a CG and we are so lucky (if I can use that word) that it has.  I get a lot of inspiration from your posts as I know do others.  Keep up the great work Larry.  18 months one day at a time.  547 days of making the pledge to be gamble free.  Of making the choice to live your life with honesty.  I am glad you have chosen to spend some if this day with us here.  Loads of love,
      xoxo Laura

    • #21286
      bettie
      Participant

      As I sit here reading your post Larry I am reminded of what brought me to GT almost a year ago.
      If I want what you have I need to do what you do.
      Congratulations Larry!
      And THANK YOU!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21287
      velvet
      Moderator

       
      Hi Larry
      Like Laura – I am proud to be walking with you. We walk on the same road but it isn’t until the fog lifts a bit that we can see the army marching on and I am so glad that I have not only seen but heard you.
      You tax my grey cells and teach me so much.
      I think it is great to see 18 month Gambling Free written on the hoarding by the road and I hope it gives heart to those who walk behind you. I hope they know that if they can write as Larry does after 18 months then ‘Wow’ just think what they can do after a year, 2 years and more. I have been lucky enough to know someone with 17 years behind him and still marching forward.  He still views everyday as beautiful and is still seeing things he has not noticed before. His son died suddenly last year and he stayed true to his gamble-free life. Like you he was able to weep with his loved ones. 
      Life can be very tough and dealing with an addiction on top is something I cannot imagine but you are showing the way and it is great to read.
      God Bless you Larry – I can hear that He does
      Love
      V xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • #21288
      vera
      Participant

      Thanks for posting to my thread Larry!
      I’m still hovering in the background..
      like a ghost!
      I don’t have any desire to post on my own tread..
      Maybe I don’t want to be "Vera" anymore………..

    • #21289
      p
      Participant

      omg Larry
      Congratulations, 18 months.. that is fantastic.. I have had a bad time of late, really bad but I am back that is the main thing i guess and trying once more.. have a sponsor now and go to two meetings a week.. Will join in groups here again too and these will be my barriers as i cant ban where i am or give my cash to anyone… i admire that you have done this Larry, i was here at the beginning and not too far away in time as when you started.. how i wish i could have stayed on the right path like you have Larry.. you give me hope.. that it can be done.. im a late starter i think.. or a slow learner.. either way.. im back and just wanted to say hi and that i have enjoyed the journey with you even though i have slipped along the way..
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21290
      p
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Thank you for your post to me, your words always help me.. i hope you are doing well… you are always so helpful to everyone here Larry.. thank you for being here and sharing this journey
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21291
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      With "Fat Tuesday" pending and those jelly donuts (punskies?) in the store thoughts of you come to mind.
      Thanks for your posts Larry, always the voice of reason and intelligence!
      take care
      bettie

    • #21292
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by bettie

      … With "Fat Tuesday" pending …

      Bettie, thanks for the post. I will use it as a reason for me to post to this thread, my first topic that I seem to neglect. But neglect is not the real case, I am just not the type that post about everyday activities; perhaps another type character flaw that I need to correct, I find great benefit in reading about the lives of others.
      This year I will not be going to Mardi Gras like I have for the past thirty-some years, I decided instead to stay in town and attend a concert by an old, old time favorite of mine, Merl Haggard.  I am mentioning this because the last time I tried to see him he cancelled; and the concert just happened to be out of town at a casino theater in Tunica Mississippi. His cancelling placed me in a situation that I had not planned on; it left be with time and money on hand at the mercy of the connecting casino instead of my being there for the enjoyment and entertainment.
      I am tying my story into Bettie’s post because her staying on line with me in the chat room that night allowed me to stay in my hotel room and not roam the halls of the casino floor — she was a great help. Reaching out for help before gambling, and not after a return, is the best way to stay gambling free when urges or opportunities arise.  Thanks Bettie, and thanks to the other I have depended on and turned to at such other times. 
      Back to Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras.   Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, was used as a day to enjoy some of our favorite everyday things before Lent when Christians were to observe sacrifices and abstain form normal everyday enjoyments through self-denial to remind them of the sacrifice made by their God. Through the years, however, Mardi Gras has evolved, or digressed, into mainly a time for many to do outlandish things and push the limits of conscience or morals on this day – a day of debauchery instead of reflection; most of the time only following through with doing the same things during the season of Lent as they had done on each day before — it was now only a party to "Laissez le Bon temp rouler" – let the good times roll.
      In recovery my last "Fat Tuesday" related to gambling was a Wednesday, August 13, 2009. That day was my biggest day of letting all go, and the one that led me to letting that day and the gambling go also and begin living a better way of life, even after forty days of just abstaining. The forty days during this "Lent" time started changes in my life and character that has helped me work on Recovery and me move forward from that time on. 
      I still enjoy and think of today’s Mardi Gras as a time to let the good time roll during this yearly celebration, but thankful, the good times do not include gambling — there can be no yearly or occasional "one last time" to let the dice roll. And I will miss the " beignets"- donuts, this year but I can cook them for myself (or settle for the inferior and copy-cat ones locals tyr to imitate — Not).
      God’s speed to all.  "Laissez le Bon temp rouler"; but only the gambling free good times.
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21293
      paul315
      Participant

      Another post by me to this topic, twice in two days, a record for me for this thread.
      This post is to copy a poem I post occasionally post that has been a great help to me. The new topic, Poetry Corner, for original poetry inspired me to copy this one here, and for me to post mine in that space.
       
      Fellow gambler, take my hand;

      I’m your friend, I understand.

      I’ve known your guilt, your shame, remorse;

      I’ve borne the burden of your cross.

      I found a friend who offered ease;

      He suffered, too, with this disease.

      Although he had no magic cure,

      He showed how we could endure.

      We walked together side by side;

      We spoke of things we had to hide.

      We told of sleepless nights and debts,

      Of broken homes and lies and threats.

      And so my weary gambler friend,

      Please take this hand that I extend.

      Take one more chance on something new,

      Another gambler helping you.
                                         – anonymous
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21294
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      as i read that poem again it causes my mind to quiet as it always does.  It reminds me that another knows my pain and shame. It also reminds me of the help that I received from my fellow recovering gamblers.  Your hand is always outstretched in a sincere offer of help.  Thank-you for the time you take to encourage the rest of us on.  And for your willingness to always share the things that move you, support you and help you in your own recovery.  Keep enjoying your gamble free life, one gamble free day at a time.
      take care,
      Laura

    • #21295
      desdemona
      Participant

      Hi Larry, It was good to read your thread and it gives me a bit of an understanding of your recovery journey and of your life before that. I was sad to read that you lost your brother so suddenly, and then your niece. I lost my brother tragically in September, 2008, and my gambling intensified after that. To read that you stayed gamble free through that is truly inspirational. I believe that I can stay gamble free one day at a time, but I was telling myself I could do that as long as nobody close to me dies. I didn’t think it was possible to do but now after reading your posts, I see that it can be done. I always appreciate the advice that you give to fellow cgs and rcgs. It is insightful and well thought out, meant to bless them. As delightful as it may have been to live in France with your new family, it had to be difficult for you, leaving everything familiar behind. I’m sorry that it ended the way it did for all of you. 911 will be imprinted in my mind forever. I had just got to work and heard what was happening on the radio. The fear and horror I felt and I was not even an American.  I was sure that this was the beginning of a World War 111. I left work and went home and sat for days watching this nightmare unfold. I can only imagine how traumatizing it was for you to watch this without being there to share in your nation’s grief. We all have regrets, but we need to forgive ourselves, and move on, and I’m trying to do that. I know that I know that I am only one bet away from possibly losing my recovery. Carole

    • #21296
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      Glad u got to your concert! I saw Kris back in, maybe 1984 With Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. I thought he should have stuck to writing. "Sunday Morning Coming Down" What a song!
      Thanks for all you do Larry. Someone told me I should ask you to sponsor me for GA.
      What a team we could make!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21297
      cully21
      Participant

      Hi Larry:
      I saw that you saw Merle and Kris in concert. My late uncle’s name was Bobby Dyson. I know he played bass for them on some of there early albums.
      God Bless,
      Cully"I used to follow. Yeah thats true. But my following days are over. Now I just got to follow through." Lou Graham from the song "Midnight Blue"

    • #21298
      desdemona
      Participant

      Thank you Larry for the links to the 12 step information. I really appreciate it. Carole

    • #21299
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry you are such an inspiration, the amount of thought and dedication you have to your posts is really wonderful.. i was having a cuppa this morning and wondering how life is treating you today when i read your post.. your last one wsa some time ago on your own thread and i hate to see it back on page 3 so i am going to bring it to the front.. i know you are there supporting others, hope we can all support you too
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21300
      liz50
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I wanted to say hello and thank you.  Ten days ago I started coming here and you posted.  I see how thoughtful and dedicated you are and have drawn from your courage and strength.  I was most appreciative of a link you shared with someone on Post accute witchdrawl.  As of this coming Tuesday i will not be on the computer for a bit as I am having eye surgery… I feel pretty strong though.  Again, thank you so much for helping me!  Happy St Patty’s day too! Hugs!
       Liz50

    • #21301
      desdemona
      Participant

      Hi Larry! Just checking in on the motivator!!! I know that we recover for ourselves, but there are a lot of people watching how individuals like yourself manage your recovery as it gives them hope that they too can live a gamble free life. I have crossed that invisible line of where my thoughts are in the day to day responsibilities and not on the thoughts of gambling to escape. I’m not saying that I don’t have bad moments in my day where I don’t experience normal emotions like frustration or anger, because I do. I just don’t manage them with gambling anymore, though I do know that I am one bet away from slipping. I am presently babysitting my 2 year old grandaughter during the day, 2 days a week, while her mother works, and I have to say it is pure joy. I can’t stop kissing her as she is so precious. We play for most of the day on the floor.  The first thing she says is Hi! when I arrive and then it’s Play! I wouldn’t trade that for mindlessly stuffing twenty dollar bills in a machine, and losing to boot!!! Carole

    • #21302
      liz50
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Thanks for the encouragement from my time off.  I will definitely draw upon the 12 steps I know from Alanon and truthfully, the time off will actually also be a physical barrier as there is a chance that I will have to stay face down for two weeks straight after surgery (although I am believing God to keep that one from happening).  At any rate, the dr says 30 days to recover.  Haha, recovery is such a great word!  We certainly go thru stages, states of mind, ups downs etc during our "recovery" from gambling.  Someone likened it to a rollar coaster ride, and I thought, well crud, I have all the tickets for that ride.  Happy for me to have found help here, thus letting those "tickets" to go away.  Day 11.  Well, wait, its actually 1am so lets just say Day 12.  And the reality is that life does have ups and downs.  I am happy that I am learning that I don’t need to gamble to deal with the emotions.  I also enjoy seeing money in my bank account again.  These are the things I want to focus on when times may get tough.  So, thanks again so much.  Sending you a big fat HUG! Liz50

    • #21303
      paul315
      Participant

      The First Day Of Spring 2011!
      This day represents the end of Winter for us in the Northern Hemisphere, a day that many have looked forward to, myself included.
      I am not a winter person and the thought of warmer weather lifts my spirits; although as I grow older the summer heat gets to me also, so I guess we do just have to adjust to the different seasons during our lives — we can talk about the weather but can do nothing about it.
      This year spring was heralded by what was called the "Super Moon" shining more brightly than any other time due to its closeness to Earth. We can not change the weather, of the cycles of the moon, but this happening did remind me of a plaque about "Advice from the moon" that can help us adjust to both climate changes and the everyday change in living. The advise presented by Ilan Shamir on the poster is simple:
       
       
      Just a post of a thought today to keep this thread more current, thanks to those that post to it occasionally to bring it nearer the top; and even more sincere thanks for the kind words and comments.
      God’s speed to all. Stay strong. Work with the changes of the seasons and the cycles of your lives.
      Note: The moon did look this big.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 3/20/2011 3:35:08 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21304
      p
      Participant

      Hey i like that Larry, the moon hmmm… considering we are mostly water.. and the moon effects the tides, it also effects the people.. ever noticed on a full moon how crazy people go.. wonder if my gambling was more erratic around a full moon??  I wouldnt know because when gambling i wouldnt have noticed something as beautiful as the moon, now i do.. as do you…  so happy to be gamble free today and reading posts from people like you.. thanks Larry
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21305
      paul315
      Participant

      April 13 2011
      Good morning to all, and a welcome to any newcomers that I may have missed posting to during recent days.  It has been 20 months since I began my resolve to live gambling free. A year and 8 months of making the right choice One Day At A Time. Each day adds to a commutative time, but each day also starts anew and must be faced with the same resolve and determination as I had at the beginning. For me each day is the 1st day and one that I look forward to starting, it is another Day 2 that I do not want to face.
      As mentioned in my other topic, Our Daily Pledge, I was absent from the Internet a few days, I visited New Orleans and enjoyed being at this years French Quarter Festival. Had a good time listing to local music and sampling a few dishes from a variety of food courts featuring many of the restaurants there. To me this free and open event spread out over the Quarter and river front that precedes the huge "Jazz Fest" every spring,  offers a lot more sampling of the local music without the outrageous cost and the confinement of the Jazz Fest Grounds. The Jazz Fest is still a good festival to attend, but it is geared toward visitors from around the world, and filters out the common local residents — although the attendance this year of the French Quarter Festival would come near in matching that of the more publicized one; over 500,000 roaming the streets and enjoying the open-air stages. 
      I even enjoyed sitting around a few of my old haunts having some drinks; only a few of the old cronies are still around, but the strangers that are now there didn’t seem to mind me intruding in on what they think of as their place. The only things that changes in a local bar is the tunes on the jukebox and the ages of the ones around you.
      One of the places that I still enjoy dropping in for some unknown or forgotten reason has a "community" urn that holds the ashes of a few old drinking buddies, and even the old "bar dog" that died; a reminder to me of the perils of the life of an alcoholic or other addict. Even though I frequently walked through those bar doors, I never passed over the line that would have turned me into an alcoholic; I only wish that I could say the same about my addiction. One thing that did cross my mind is that if my favorite casino had a urn for the gambling dead, my ashes are no longer destined to be mixed with the other ones — I now live gambling free and hope to die that way. 
      God’s speed to all. Stay strong. Keep aware.
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21306
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      You have done so well on this journey and have helped many people with your words.. I think of when i first started and you and i started around the same time.. my journey has panned out somewhat different to yours with my slips along the way but over all have had lots of gamble free time.. i admire your strength and persistence in recovery, also your posts and words that reach many here… your life is so different now Larry how amazing to have come so far in life
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21307
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Dear dear Larry,
      I am so happy for your achievement and truly proud of the kind soul that you are. Congratulations on your now 20 months plus. You are doing a tremendous job of building a new balanced life in the aftermath of this terrible addiction.  Great that you were able to bump into a few of the old fellas and listen to some good music.  The warmth must have felt like heaven after the terrible winter we’ve had.  I too am glad that your ashes will be destined for a more peaceful resting site.  I apoligize my friend for not being here for you when you were going through difficult emotions.  Each day brings us new choices, each day you inspire in yourself and others the choice of being gamble free.  I miss being able to chat and post for hours each day but know that you are in my thoughts when i come across a post here or there from you to others.  And the coffee pot is always on, even if I’m not at home.  Thanks for your posts and words of encouragement and empathy to us all.
      have a very happy and very gamble free day  🙂
      God bless Larry
      Laura

    • #21308
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry!
      I saw that you are posting on the daily pledge so I am glad to see you are OK after that tornado last week. I hope you are well and not too close to the Mississippi river, as it seems to be acting up too. I remember driving with my family to southern Missouri in the 1970’s when there was severe flooding and seeing sand bags along the highway. I’ve always been glad when spring passes, I hate storms but I guess we must take the bitter with the sweet. I am looking forward to planting the few little flowers that I can put on my patio.
      Take care,
      bettie

    • #21309
      paul315
      Participant

      Good afternoon all, and thanks Bettie for checking up on me; it has been both a hectic and grateful past few days — to paraphrase Kathryn’s closing "Experiencing life is a great adventure". 
      As for the storms and tornadoes, they hit around me and no direct damage was caused like in the areas just a few mile west and east of here. The most damage in my immediate area was tree limes and scattered power outages. And thankfully my family that lives closer to the main path only had a little hail damage. 
      The airport and small municipalities that got hit also came out on a somewhat positive side; no loss of life or serious energies.  I guess I now look at the inconveniences and property loss as minor problems; after surviving my own experience in a devastating "Act of God" (A phrase that I can not understand; crediting uncontrollable and impersonal occurrences of Mother Nature make more since).
      Other than being reminded of Katrina, and the much worse storms and disasters that occur around the world, my life has been going well; the benefits of living gambling free keep being manifested in many ways.  Another grateful part of these past days includes, and is highlighted by the return of Justin of South Africa to this site and to his path to recovery. I am sorry about his relapse, but at the same time find his gambling a verification of the facts and truth that compulsive gamblers can not gamble for anything. Gamblers Anonymous states it this way:
      Can a compulsive gambler ever gamble normally again?
      No. The first bet to a problem gambler is like the first drink to an alcoholic. Sooner or later he or she falls back into the same old destructive pattern.
      Once a person has crossed the invisible line into irresponsible uncontrolled gambling he or she never seems to regain control. After abstaining a few months some of our members have tried some small bet experimentation, always with disastrous results. The old obsession inevitably returned.
      The stories of others also show that one can fight off the urges and live gambling free. It is good to read about the success of others, even with their sharing includes their dealings with the "ordinary"daily problems; we can stop the problems associated with gambling, but not the ones faced while experiencing that adventures of life.  It is also good to read about the struggles of some; their courage and determination give inspiration to all of us as it makes them stronger and moves them closer to living the total better life.
      Reading the post of another member also added to the hectic side of my past week; seeing that someone is tyring to challenge the addiction and follow the path of some others that disregarded the teaching mentioned in the GA quote above. A friend has decided to experiment with the belief that he is now strong enough to control gambling, that he can gamble on certain occasions or for special reasons. I truthfully wish him well in this endeavor (it seems that this is a thought that stays with us all), but have serious doubts that it will not lead to more devastation — Completely controlling a CG and destroying their life is the "Nature of the Beast".  Anyhow, and since I see this more of a gambling experience and not necessarily a recovery one, I will say "Best of Luck".
      Like I started this post, the past few days have offered an array of different experiences and feelings; nevertheless, or maybe because of or in spite of, I am still gambling free and enjoying life.  Easter was a great time for me spiritually, my GA meetings are a foundation of continued strength, and my being part of this community is a life savor. 
      I have babbled enough, a little different than my venting and my pledges, but still a tool for me.  Thanks for any time that others may take in reading, and hopefully it might be of some help to them as it is to me.
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Keep aware. Be true to yourself.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21310
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Glad to hear you are ok after the tornado.. and glad to hear of your continued success in recovery… I always get something out of your posts.. they always make me think.. i like that part that GA states about crossing the invisible line, that is one thing lately that helps me the most is to remember there is no going back once we cross the line , i really did get a shock when i initially went to GA and heard those words, that was the biggest thing that clicked!  Though i still gambled a few times after it is only now that line is sinking in fully to my brain..
      Your life is so much improved now.. congrats on your clean time, see you soon
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21311
      richie
      Participant

      Paul, I mean Larry, tee hee. I must have missed this thread in the past, but you have me thinking about “Day Two is Still a Day Away”. Very interesting (as Maxwell Smart used to say on his TV series)! So, Paul, I mean Larry, let me get this straight…is it possible that instead of the standard “one-day-at-a-time” bromide that we all hear in 12-step meetings, which cautions us not to look too far in the future… is it possible that what you are suggesting is that today is ALWAYS day#1??? Because if that is what you are suggesting, then I think that is brilliant. In fact, it reminds me a little of the movie in the states called “Ground Hog Day” where Bill Murray is trapped had to “redo” Feb 2nd until he got it right. Except you are adding the concept that “Day Zero is Still Yesterday”. So my take away is we are always in Day One and don’t get too cocky if you have clean time and don’t get too scared if you don’t. Because actually all we have is this moment to deal with, not even 24 hours, just this SECOND. So stay focused on the here-and-now, right? Thanks….each day is a GIFT!

    • #21312
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by richie

      … "Day Two is Still a Day Away" … my take away is we are always in Day One and don’t get too cocky if you have clean time and don’t get too scared if you don’t…
      Good morning Richie,
      Thanks for the reply to my topic, and for your look on the meaning in its title. Each day I start anew and do not rest on my laurel’s so to speak.
      I have had so many "Day 2’s", and for me it was the hardest one when trying to stop; I was still too close to the action and the fact that I made it past the "worst day in my life" (again) causing me to think that I could still gamble and handle any of the consequences.  If I never face Day 1, if I never make that first bet again, I will not have to relive Day 2 or fight off the second bet. 
      As for commutative time, for me it represents the time that I have lived and benefited from being gambling free more then the amount of time since my last bet. It also puts time between today and "Day 0", adding to the strength and awareness needed to combat any urges and complacency.  In a G conference the speaker asked each of us about our free time and there was a big range of time between the shortest and the longest. He then said that no matter what time each of us had, the one with the most time of not gambling for that day was the one who got up the earliest.
      The thought, or maybe the fear, of me reliving Day 2 has also faded somewhat with time and practicing my recovery. I now use a variation of my title in my closing; " "Day Two Is Another Day Behind".LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21313
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good morning Larry,
      stopping by as i have my morning coffee.  I had been by your thread a couple days ago and was in the middle of a post when the site went down.  I was able to copy it into word for another day 🙂  With my memory that is a good thing.  I’m glad that the fear of relapse is fading and i know that you are anything but complacent.  It is always a fine line we seem to walk.  Much like a tight rope walker.  Take care Larry.
             ————————————————————————————————————————————
      Hey Larry,
      good to hear you and your loved ones are safe and sound.  That invisible line…. I can never be "un CGed"  I will always be one now.  I have no idea where i heard this following statement… You can turn a cucumber into a pickle but you can’t turn a pickle into a cucumber lol  It was in a CG recovery context.  And it was like yep, guess thats me.  A pickle now never to be a cucumber lol.  Thank-you once again for taking the time to express your thoughts and provoke ours.  Have a happy gamble free day.
      Laura
       

    • #21314
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning all, a Happy May Day!
      In making plans for today to attend my granddaughter’s Spring program, it gave me thoughts to meditate on in making my Daily Pledge and how living gambling free provides for a better way of life. As posted there, "once we see the beauty that living gambling free brings we can then recognize and enjoy the many good things that had been buried by addiction". My going out of my way to attend tonight’s service is a complete reversal of my going out of my way and the deceit used to get out of similar occasions just to gamble.
      This enjoyment of the better things in life is far better than the devastation the pursuit of the gamblers dreams or the escape from reality gave to us. Nevertheless, my doing this caused be to wonder if I am doing it to make amends for my past mistakes, or for merely the enjoyment I will share with my family. At first I told my granddaughter that I would not attend because had to work and would not get off in time to attend; the hurt on her face caused me to make changes and arrangements so that I could attend. That is when the realization that my past absence due to gambling caused her disappointment and that I did not have to add to those times by inconviences to me now. 
      Neither doing this for the enjoyment or for making amends is wrong, and both could even co-exist and be satisfied at the same time; but this conundrum that entered my thoughts shows me that the consequences of gambling can even in this small way still intrude on the benefits of not gambling.  I have a long way to go in my recovery; it is a ODAAT process and only by not gambling for anything will I keep evolving into the person that I was meant to be.
      Why I am posting these thoughts in more detail than in my Pledge I have no idea; maybe I just needed to see my thought process in writing so that it could come easier in the days to follow.  Looking at our inter selves and thoughts, or as in the GA steps "making a searching and fearless inventory", is not an easy task, but honesty starts with us and includes being openminded to the reasons behind our actions. Yes, some things just happen without reason, but when reasons are there, we need to review them — keeping aware is a great tool.
      God’s speed. Stay strong.
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21315
      paul315
      Participant

      9/11/2001 – 5/1/2011
      "Patriotism swells in the heart of the American bear"
      Fozzie Bear,  The Muppet Movie

    • #21316
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      A wonderful uplifting post.  Your granddaughter must be so pleased that you are attending her very special event.
      The devastation this addiction causes touches so many, be it the major financial damage, or the small absences that are noticed by our loved ones.
      The financial damage is far easier to deal with.  There is always money to be made, through hard work of course!!  The time lost to family members is something we can never replace and although it may be something we dont focus on at the start of recovery, i believe that as we grow and discover the person we always were, it is these precious moments that stand out as our major ‘losses’.
      While i live with regret every day, i also use my now ‘logical’ brain to make time for those who suffered the most during my time in action.  I love that you have ensured that you will be there for your granddaughter.  This is a big event in her life, and im sure having her grandfather there makes it all the more special to her.  To be able to look back and remember that you were there is more precious than all the money in the world. What a wonderful gift you are giving her Larry….you!!!!!
      As for your last post, what can i say?  My god bless all who were taken and who were touched by this terrible event. 
      Take care, Kathryn xxxxxxxxxxxxx
      To live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan– 2/05/2011 12:55:02 PM: post edited by Kathryn.

    • #21317
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by Kathryn

      …  Your granddaughter must be so pleased … 

      Good morning Kathryn,
      Thanks for your reply and input on the cost of gambling. 
      About last night at the program, my granddaughter did not know I would be there; the surprised smile on her face when she spotted me was worth everything to me.  That look will continuously help me to not miss out on such events, especially because of the selfish acts of gambling. 
      God’s speed.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21318
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      You could give your grandaughter no greater gift than having you there gamble free.. such a nice post to read and always an inspiration to others here too.. good on you Larry, your recovery is just fantastic and you are showing it in all these areas of your life.. other people like your grandaughter are benefiting by your choices.. be proud of you
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21319
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      How are u these days? I see all the flooding associated with the Mississippi and can’t help but think of you.
      I saw photo’s of my cousin’s farm in southern Illinois and saw the silo flattened. That had stood for 50 years but the storms got it. Just amazing the power of nature.
      Take care!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21320
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Well its morning coffee time for me and thought i would pop in and say hi to you and see whats happening in Larrys world today.. whatever is happening i hope it is good!! thanks for being here and always sharing your thoughts
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21321
      icandothis
      Participant

      Hi Larry,  Just wanted to thank you for replying to my post this morning.  Your practical advice helps alot.  I notice that you respond to others with thoughtful advice and a spirit of nonjudgmental, caring.  You are not only setting a good example, but doing a great service as well.  God Bless!!

    • #21322
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Dear Larry,
      I have today seen the terrible news of the twister in Missouri. My thoughts are with you and hope you along with friends and family are safe and well.

    • #21323
      jean
      Participant

      Hi Larry hope you are safe and well take care lifes to short

    • #21324
      vera
      Participant

      You are on my mind a lot Larry!
      Hoping and praying that all is ok for you!

    • #21325
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning all,
      It is good to be back home and connected to all my friends at GT.  It is also good to be able to connect to GT again with a work-around site address (I was able to post to Our Daily Pledge when I first returned, but then faced the technical problem with GT); both being away and unable to connect only reaffirms my need of this tool. It was interesting that right after I returned home and logged on to GT for my pledge and read a few emails my computer completely froze up allowing only navigation within a scam type, and official looking Window’s warning message, that turned out to be a virus crashing my entire system.  After a few hours on the phone with the computer technicians  and the Internet provider I was able to reload my hard drive and go back on line (still lost everything not backed up to disk), finding that I could not connect to GT; making me think that the virus had somehow blocked this life line. (The importance of such tools for connecting with others is the subject of today;s "Reflection for the Day" posted in this Forum also, read it.)
      My trip was full of coincidences and evidence of interesting happenings also. On the way down to New Orleans I passed through some of the worst affected areas of our recent flooding alone the Mississippi River. Saint Louis and New Orleans did not have to contend with any of the catastrophic destruction, but the areas in between in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi were a total loss to miles on both banks of this mighty river. And then, the tornadoes and storms in the Midwest!
      We had just experienced a couple of tornadoes and storms in the St Louis area, but while in New Orleans the extremely large tornado hit another part of Missouri (see the following site for a before-and-after satellite view of a small portion of Joplin, MO; the same type damage covered many times this area (you can drag the bar back and forth to see the differences between the lush green and standing buildings to the ugly browns and destruction afterwords)
      http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-joplin-tornado-slider,0,2395484.htmlstory .
      And then on the trip home we passed through the worst rain and wind storm I can recall, just missing another tornado a few miles to the east of the location I had to pull off the road to wait it out. When finally arriving home, we had just missed the baseball-size-hailstorm that hit St, Louis. This timing saved me a few hundred dollars in deductibles for the damage that would have incurred.
      And I though my gambling problem was bad; at least the gambling devastation to my life can be avoided by me just making the right choice — the choice to not gamble for anything — something that I can take control over.
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Stay safe.
      p.s. By the way, I did enjoy my stay in New Orleans without incident.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 5/28/2011 3:35:13 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21326
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Dear Larry,
      stopping by with my coffee in hand this morning.  I’m not sure how i keep missing updates from everyone, maybe I had not read for a couple days and then i miss things.  I’m glad that you made it through the storms and avoided some too.  Very comparable to recovery.  Sometimes there will be storms that we have to weather, and weather without gambling. I am so happy to see that you are still enjoying the benefits of a gamble free life.  It must be coming up to two years for you very soon (August?)  Where has the time gone?  It gives me a feeling of peace to know that i have placed some distance between myself and my last bet.  We are to live each day at a time, which i strive to do.  But it is good to see the past destruction fading away.  For me i lost myself and money.  I can be found again and more money can be made.  We can learn to live each day with dignity, knowing that we are doing our best to be healthy of mind.  Good morning to you Larry (c)  Have a great gamble free day.  So glad you stopped by for cuppa.
      God bless,
      Laura

    • #21327
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      Well I also have a cuppa in hand in our big cyber coffee lounge.. hope you are having a good day today Larry.. the journey continues
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21328
      paul315
      Participant

      Today is a very special day. Today is "Katie Day". A special holiday that corresponds with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day; my 6 year old granddaughter, Katie, organized this special day three years ago so she could share in the same type festivities that she enjoyed in honoring her mother and father. 
      I missed the first one.  Gambling was too much a part of my life, or rather, gambling was my life. So today I am looking forward to my second time to join in on the festivities.  We are going to the circus; a small One-Ring Tent circus locally operated, Circus Flora (not the huge distracting 3 ring overly commercialized one held in stadiums), that I have been wanting to see since my return from France where my family there and I went to the small local ones every time a traveling circus family came to town. I guess I could say that "Katie Day" is offering me a chance to fulfill a practical and sound dream.
      This desire was also hampered my my gambling before now; before I started living a normal life again each time I had the money for tickets, my addiction to gambling diverted me from the sales office to the casino. Taking my family here to the circus became one of the elusive dreams on my gambling life; when I won "enough" I would buy the tickets and surprise them with this outing. Needless to say, the elusive dreams of a gambler, even a smaller one, never materialize.
      Today, thanks to my Higher Power and the help and support of my fellow gamblers here and at GA, I can enjoy a special day and an awaited event.  I am mentioning this to remind me, and others, that living gambling free does have its rewards. Others may be struggling with and looking forward to the seemingly greater rewards of paying off debts or regaining some material items; but later on, when you have progressed in your recovery, you too will realize that the small things in life that gambling took from us are just as important and can give much greater joy.
      Take time to smell the roses as you strive to overcome, money can still be earned and possessions acquired, but once we throw away a precious moment, it will be lost. As Geordie says in his closing, "recovery is priceless".
      God’s speed.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 6/12/2011 1:51:31 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21329
      bettie
      Participant

       

       
      Happy "Katie" Day!!!!
      bettie
       

    • #21330
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      Frankly I’m a bit afraid of clowns- Steven Kings "IT" comes to mind!
      I think elephants are amazing!
       peace
      bettie

    • #21331
      vera
      Participant

      Larry, is it 22 months today since your last bet?

    • #21332
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry!
      I just read a post you sent to Ican’s thread and two things leaped out at me.
      You spoke about not wanting to quit but in the final analyses having to admit the consequences that gambling brings. I think for most Cgs this is the kernel. If I had not been faced with such devastating results and the realisation of what gambling did, and will continue to do to me, if I choose to gamble, I would most likely,be sitting in a casino tonight blisfully letting the realities of life go over my head. I need to remind myself constantly that gambling is not "fun", is not an option and that no good will ever comes from it. When I see it clearly for what it is, I will no longer want gambling to be part of my life!
      The second point was to do with hankering after what is gone and holding on to part of our CG past!
      Since I gave up gambling in my "favourite" arcade/casino, I have visited that seaside on a regular basis,to "walk on the beach!" I have become fond of a few restuarants there and even started to bring a couple of my friends out for a walk and a meal there, but mostly I go alone. Most of the time I am uneasy with this and could not face up to dealing with my reasons for going there. When I read your post, I see clearly now that I am chasing the past. Chasing an illusion. Holding on to a memory. re visiting the sordid scene of the crime! Going there alone could not be healthy for me as a CG. I linger around the entrance, salute people who I "knew" (probably all CGs in denial) and even meet some of the people who work there and hope they acknowledge me in some way. How daft is that! Deep down I am pining for my "lost love", regretting what I left behind and looking back on all the money I "invested" there. ..
      I must be honest and say none of this has any part in my recovery Larry! The reality is , I threw my money into those bloody slot machines, I’m banned (self-excluded) from those premises for a very good reason and I will never get that time of my life or my money back.
      Time to let the ghosts rests and to move on.
      From tomorrow onwards’ I will find a new location to walk and if that place has a casino I will make one trip inside, only to self exclude before I am ever tempted to go down memory lane again.
      Thanks for that post Larry. It was truely a Godsend!

    • #21333
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good morning Larry,
      I am just on my second cup of coffee and enjoying catching up on some posts.  Life has been rather hectic lately, dealing with teenagers who needed jobs and one who needed a car to get to a job.  I can only imagine how frustrated I would have been at having my gambling time being taken up by such trivial things as shopping for a second hand car or work uniforms.  I have a lot of paperwork to catch up on but then hope that life will settle again and allow a little more time for me.  And a little more time for GT.  It is good to know this life line is here and I will never untie it!
      So how was Katie day at the circus?  Sounds like a lovely holiday lol. I read your post on Vera’s thread and was surprised to hear that you were still mourning the loss of gambling, and perhaps flirting with the consequences of re opening this damaging one sided warped relationship.  A beach with no casino sounds like a better plan and glad Vera was around to light a spark.  Why I’m surprised I don’t know. I should know better when it comes to the draw of this addiction.  Of how our minds play games with us to get what it wants subconsciously.  I’m so glad that you are rooted in recovery.  For me it has been somewhat easy to forget the affects it had on my life.  Thanks for sharing your story Larry, it reminds me that I must remember the devestation of gambling.  And, you remind me that there is so much joy to be found in life when we stop gambling long enough to see it.  I hope you have a great gamble free day my friend. 
      take care,
      Laura

    • #21334
      p
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Well i am having a cuppa so of course came to our big cyber coffee longe hehe.. Larry i want to thank you for your honesty and honestly your post helped me more than you could know.. i was tossing around the idea of going for another try again the next day which is now today.. your post absolutely got me thinking.. like i was just prancing around in some dream world and what the hell was i doing there.. i was trying to brush it to the side and make excuses as if it would all be ok and really does it matter if i am doing this again.. well Larry yes it does and you definately bought me back to reality.. thank you soooo much for your post it has helped me more than you will ever know.. i havent been able to get that fight back in me no matter what i do and after reading that and chatting to a friend in GA my mind is ready.. ready to try just for today.. we never know how much we are helping someone Larry and you were like my angel yesterday with those words of truth, thank you so much
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21335
      sherry123
      Participant

      Larry, I just read the beginning of your thread and remember reading it a few years ago.  You are an amazing writer and you take a lot of time and thought in posting to others.  I can almost picture your life in France.  If you didn’t work, other than a house husband, how did you manage to have money for gambling?  I know that’s all in the past and you don’t have to answer…I was just curious.
      I’m going to go back and read more of your thread because I’m also curious to see if you ever self-excluded from the casinos in Missouri.
      Very interesting thread!
       

    • #21336
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by sherry123
      …I was just curious.

      July 4th !
      Good morning all,
      Today is an interesting day for me in some different ways, some of which I will share here. But first I would like to say "thanks Sherry for your post and concern", concern that you call curiosity. We all have a curiosity in the lives of others here or we would not read their post, but in this community curiosity comes from our concern for others and for a search for help for ourselves. Curiosity is the beginning of shearing, interacting, and learning.
       
      As for your questions, when in France and prior to my crossing over into becoming a compulsive gambler, I was what many consider as being, a "normal" social gambler. My income came from my retirement and went towards family expenses and our activities. I now see that even the controlled gambling I did do in France, and during my earlier life in the States did however plant the seeds of destruction, and opened an attraction to this other world, but gambling was then centered around other activities, my activities were not centered around gambling. My problem came to life during a period I felt I had to get away to straighten out some things in my life. Instead I took to the casino and uncontrollable gambling, finding it easier to hide and run away from my problems than to face them. From there, I became a full blown CG, I crossed over the line.
       
      I have not found a need to ban myself as I recommend others to do, but my recommendation is based on the good that I see that banning can provides, not on what I have found good for me. I have posted my thoughts in more detail in other post, but here I am just answering a question. In the long run, for me at least, and not as a suggestion to others, my not gambling without baning made me work harder at not gambling; I gambled many times when I should not have, other types of restrictions did not stop me, but gave me reason to challenge the system and push it to the limit. I would have done the same with banning and I believe that my challenging it would have only caused me additional problems. Such defiance to banning is also demonstrated my others here. I feel that my mental ban has keep me gambling free more than a formal ban could have. Some need to ban, but they also need the mental ban, and both are a commitment with a requirement that only we can keep.
       
      Now for the 4th, Independence Day in the US.
       
      Eighteen years ago July 4th was the fist day of my retirement from my working career. My independence from having to report to work each day. I still work, but ever since that day I know that I can walk away from anything that I was not comfortable with. and have a few times; unlike having to fulfill duties to keep a job and provide me a livelihood, I now do not "have" to work (except for the past couple of years to repay gambling debts and extra income become a necessity). I work to provide additional and discretionary income, and I work to keep active, and even fulfil a need to know that I can do a good job and satisfy my employer. Being "independent" is a good feeling.
       
      I also borrow from this Holiday and use its significance to recognize and celebrate my independence from the gambling addiction. My anniversary is a few weeks away, but I still recognize a connection with Independence Day on this July 4th. Again, being independent is a good feeling. But just as in my retirement where I still need to do something to replace a lifetime of required work, in recovery I need to replace the years of addictive and compulsive gambling. I can not replace it with other types of gambling like I replaced my job with a different style of work; for a CG a return to gambling or a try at controlled gambling is not an option. I replaced my gambling with working on recovery. I know that others stress finding some other activity that will fill your time, but I have found for me that with my spending most of my extra time on my recovery and searching for knowledge of this addiction and the gambling industry, that all the time I dedicated to recovery is what opened up other ways for me to enjoy and be able to take part in positive activities, I did not have to search for or seek out ways to replace the time I spent gambling. By not gambling, once there was time for these other activities to manifest themselves, a normal and better life took hold. Once I started giving my gambling free time, even at ODAAT, an opportunity to build, I allowed my normal life to return.
       
      And on a sadder note, the 4th reminds me of what I lost. On US holidays such as this one where its significance and recognitions was not observed outside the States, our family took special efforts to bring some of home home to me. The love that was shown on "my" holidays, and that I also shared during the French jours de fete, is now just a memory. Being independent has a down side too.
       
      Nevertheless, I am still progressing and am being able to forgive myself through applying the same principles of recovery to other aspects of my lif, this year I can enjoy the festivities and not be held captive in a casino. I will not be celebrating in some of the more festive ways I did years ago, but not acting out the life of a younger man, is because of age and changes in what interest me, not because of an addiction. I can choose what parts of the celebrations I want to partake in. And although the earlier part of the day is controlled my "having" to work, being independent is still a good feeling.
       
      God’s speed. Stay strong. Use your independence from gambling to enjoy being dependent on the normal happiness of life.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 7/4/2011 1:32:34 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21337
      sherry123
      Participant

      Thanks for taking the time to answer my ‘concern’.  As I read through your thread, I saw that you took advantage of the Casino offers after you quit gambling.  It sounded like they were cash and food.  I don’t blame you for getting what ‘you were owed’…especially when it’s substantial. 
      I feel you are way ahead of me in recovery (and also a much deeper thinker than I am!) so I enjoy reading your insights and observations. 
      Happy 4th of July to you!

    • #21338
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good Morning Larry,
      I missed your post of July 4th so have just enjoyed having a read with my coffee.  We had not had coffee together in a while so wanted to stop by and see how things are with you.  Your post allowed me to get to know you a little better.  As your sister in recovery for the past year and a half or longer i treasure that 🙂  I hope you are comfortable in  the heat wave you are in the middle of.  I just couldn’t imagine what it feels like.  I don’t know if we’ve gotten over 28 C yet this summer and usually 25 or under, going down to like 12 at night.   Our weather has been cooler this year and everything that grows is way behind.  Of course heat was always an excuse to go gambling for me, just want to get in some air condition, ha!  Could have bought an air conditioning store lol. Now I do something healthier like go swimming at the beach or pool.  ODAAT we have the power to make the next right choice.  Take care of yourself in this heat, maybe an iced tea instead of a coffee today!  Have a good day.
      Laura

    • #21339
      desdemona
      Participant

      Good Morning Larry! From getting to know people on GT, I have come to realize that the ones that have had the most success in recovery, are those that have sought other support besides GT, such as GA, and you mention God. I have a difficult time asking for support, but the total blowout I had on July 19th, with gambling for over 12 hours, took me back to how I felt prior to coming into recovery. The occasional slip here and there didn’t bother me and I’d always tell myself progress not recovery. The gambling blowout really scared me and I realized that my way was not working, and that I would need to reach out outside myself and get the help I waited too long to seek out. I have found qualifed addiction counsellors through Mental Health 3 hours away from where I live, which gives me the privacy to share what I need to share. The GA group closest to me is 3 hours away also, which sucks for winter night time driving, but I’ll cross that bridge when it becomes winter here. You often talk about self-banning in your head and I am having difficulty really grasping that concept. I would appreciate you explaining that to me in detail. I have self-excluded myself from all the casinos in my province but it does not cover the VLTs in every lounge/bar in town, and I have a long history of gambling in these venues as when I started gambling, we did not have a casino in our town. I am very serious about recovery and have worked hard at quitting and also dealing with the painful issues that have come up for me, as well as the day to day stuff. It’s not that I don’t believe there is a God. I have depended on myself since I was seven years old to cope with issues a child shouldn’t have to cope with. I would like to have that personal relationship but I just don’t know how to do that. I’d be interested in suggestions on how to do that. My way is NOT working. Carole    

    • #21340
      paul315
      Participant

       
      Originally posted by carole8755
       … I realized that my way was not working, and that I would need to reach out outside myself and get the help I waited too long to seek out … 
      … You often talk about self-banning in your head and I am having difficulty really grasping that concept. I would appreciate you explaining that to me in detail … 
      … It’s not that I don’t believe there is a God …

      Good morning Carole,
      Going into detail on what mental banning means to me may only show how my individual actions are working in my life. One of the first things that I noticed in starting GA was that nobody told me what to do and how to do. By their own definition GA is "a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem", not a program of professional counselling or therapy. Their only advice was to attend meetings and read the GA Yellow Book daily. In fact the most detailed advice to me as an individual is found in the GA book on page 17. Nevertheless, in reading the other pages of the book and figuring out how they applied to my life I was made aware of a more detailed program that I came to follow and practice. The instructions for me to be open minded, willing, for me to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to a normal way of thinking and living, and for me to make a searching inventory and to meditate, opened my program to include searching for ways to meditate and gaining some knowledge of what I was up against. This was the start of my mental process. 
      I am not faulting the GA way (after all using the 12 Step program has been working for me) of not providing individual advice, only generic guidelines; yet beyond this type of a successful process I also find in the GA principles a challenge to " help others to recover ". So as an individual I see that it is up to us in recovery to expand on guidelines when possible. So, after all this background, I will try to provide some of the detailed answers that you are asking. I will also apologize in advance for what I see will be a long reply that contains some rambling, but in typing out these thoughts and sharing them here is also part of a mental process and will help reinforce my resolve and strengthen my actions.
       
      To begin, I see a mental ban more of a change in attitude and way of thinking and communicating than a barrier that a self-ban provides. Last year I started a thread in the Overcoming Problems Forum on the ways and means that help me in recovery. One of the first post talked about barriers and mental banning. I will repeat part of that post here: 
      "One of the first and an important things to do is start a mental banning process to lock gambling out of your daily activities and planning. In conjunction with this mental process you can then follow through with the actual blocking and banning and other barriers. The start of mental working is not necessarily instantaneous, it has to be nurtured and supported through learning and conditioning. In contrast some of the actual types may be activated immediately or within a short time frame, however, the same brain work has to be applied to make these bans acceptable to your compulsive state and to finally have them in place. 
      If your mindset is not on track with the physical actions, you will find yourself searching out a way to beat the barriers, using energy that you could better use to beat the addiction; or will find that the barrier has expired of you have hardened to them. This also applies even to spiritual barriers; your faith might falter leaving you to your own principles and established practices — your mental banning and conditioning will help carry you past times of spiritual doubt".
       
      A self-ban is limited to how we, and the casinos, respect it; they do not seem to care until it will save them some money, and we do not care about it once our urges overcome the fear of reprisal. For me the fear of reprisal, the fear of being arrested kept me from self-baning, from my past self efforts to stop gambling I knew that I would not respect a self-ban, I would challenge it placing me in more trouble.  (see this site and its links for a broader view on self-exclusion: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/1092188041427300?journalCode=glr
      More on my mental banning.
      When I gambled I also gambled mentally, that is while caught up in the compulsive frizzy of gambling my every thought was about gambling. Even outside the casinos everything I saw or heard in my daily life reminded me of a certain game or slot machine. Strangely, the only one that comes to mind now for an example is the Lady Bug machine; this is because my granddaughter is into the "Ladybug Girl" books. But this is a good thing, my change in viewing everyday events and objects is where my mental ban has brought me. I now see things for what they are and not what the casinos programed into their machines.
       
      Another type of mental ban I use is to not use gambling terms in conversations or posting here for that matter. I no longer say "good luck", instead I taught myself to say best wishes or God’s speed; I have for the most part mentally banned gambling terms from my vocabulary. The first time I found myself doing this was during my second GA meeting where I was asked to sigh a sobriety birthday card for another member; I wrote "good luck" but it looked wrong so I scratched that out and used "best wishes". She thought it was intentional, it was more of a realization, an effort that has become intentional and common place.  Even when playing with my granddaughter, I do not say "I bet" as she sometimes uses, I say I don’t think you can.
      Almost every Thursday afternoon and Friday morning for the past six years I went to the casino where my daughter picked me up; we both now refer to it as the bus stop.  A friend and I go to "the buffet" occasionally for breakfast, it is on casino property but he no longer says lets go to the casino this morning (we never gambled when doing this in the past, it just came more natural to name the casino — I snuck back to do my secret compulsive gambling afterwards). Another friend no longer sends lotto tickets in my Christmas card, at least last year, I asked him to just say MC and not temp me.  My using these new terms and stressing the importance of my separating gambling from our times together caused those around me to refer to them in the same manor — they care and respect my need to recover. These things may seem like only words games, but for me in my recovery it is a change in attitude and the way to see the normal things of life; for me it is part of my mental banning.
      Another mental ban that I use is to not look at my being gambling free as leaving gambling behind; I see myself going forward to a better place, not pinning away about what others refer to in saying they lost a best friend, or the only source of entertainment of enjoyment they had. Sure "normal" gambling can be a form of enjoyment to a non-CG, but once I crossed over, it was no longer my friend or enjoyment, it was my enemy and source of distress and devastation.  The better place I am seeking can not include dwelling on the past thoughts of any good times, I have evolved into a recovering compulsive gambling with no room for any gambling or desires. I know in my mind that I can not be, must not think that I can be, a "normal" gambler again.  In the Biblical story of leaving bad things behind, Lot when on to live the better life when escaping Solemn and Gomorrah, his wife hung on to the past to her demise.
       
      God!
      This is not the place for me to preach religion, however I do "testify" to my Belief and my living a better life resulting from my recovery, blessings that I see as coming from God. This is a place to stress the importance of "spirituality" — "The word spiritual can be said to describe those characteristics of the human mind that represent the highest and finest qualities such as kindness, generosity, honesty and humility". God is a Higher Power that I have, one in a combination of powers — the preamble in the GA guidebook comes to mind, i.e, "I sought my soul, But could not see, I sought my God, But He eluded me, I sought my brothers and sisters, And found all three" it takes a combination of powers to help me. God is a HP that I now depend on and have faith in, my way did not work either, and I came to believe that "a Power greater than myself" could.  You do not not believe, however, you also realize that your way is not working; recovery calls for us to be open minded and willing to except change.  In the "Reflection of the Day" post in this forum for the 24th, it talks of a way to go further than not not believing.  
      In addition to this I will repeat some from my topic in Overcoming Problems about God or a HP:
      "I can truthfully say that I believe a Power greater then me — in my case God –, a power greater then that of my compulsive gambling, will carry me through on this journey; such a belief is needed if we are to go forward. When you are working on your recovery, you need to believe that there is something stronger then you to pull you away from the compulsive behavior. We have tried using our own will power and failed, now we need a spiritual strengthening. Defences built on will power and self-knowledge alone may not hold; our best efforts always result in ever greater destruction and despair, but those reinforced by spiritual principles have a greater sustaining power. 
      When others speak of God, it is meant to address each of own conception of a God, no matter what your faith or position, including any irreligious or skeptical views where a form of Higher Power exist in another fashion; Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms and expressions deter you from honestly asking yourself how such terms fit in your life. Just as with the computers we work with, our System Restore has to have a starting point for restoration to commence; a willingness to believe in a Greater Power is all that is needed to start this process. Then the continuing reliance on that belief will build a stronger belief, resulting in further acceptance and growth. Afterwords we can accept the many things related to recovery that now seem out of reach, we can accept the fact that we can stop; that we can succeed in achieving a renewed life, a gambling free life. 
      The opening phrase, "came to believe" (of the GA Step 2), in not only a reference to an awakening, but it also suggests a process and a progression of faith that evolves over time. We must be patient; the days and weeks will pass soon enough, and as we follow a true deliberate course, we will experience continued recovery".
      I believe that in this attempt to answer your question has been a help to me, and hopefully you and perhaps others; it has strengthen my mental actions and encourages me to follow through with my physical actions — It would do no good if I used, or allowed, my mental powers to fight and destroy the physical ones instead of supporting them.
      God’s speed. Keep aware. Stay strong. Keep your mind on staying gambling free and living a better way of life.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 7/24/2011 2:55:35 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21341
      paul315
      Participant

      — 7/24/2011 2:48:48 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21342
      bettie
      Participant

      Well Said Larry!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21343
      desdemona
      Participant

      Thank you Larry for taking the time to explain the answers to the questions I had. I am going to print your reply and meditate on it and dissect it. It is a lot of information to take in. Some of the things you mention I am already doing, which is a positive. I like what you said about gaining a new life, not losing a best friend. Gambling for a cg is never a friend. Carole 

    • #21344
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I see you posting and I wanted to say hello!
      I know your 2 year is right around the corner. They have offically set the date for my pinning-Aug 19th. Seams sureal to me-that almost a year has past and here we are, clean and living life.
      I wish things were perfect but as you know life is life, and "we ( learn to ) accect the things we can not change". The past is the first thing that comes to mind, been there, done that. Moving foward is not easy, but necessary if we are to "lead normal happy lives".
      My gf in AA had a sililar experance. She knew she had medical issues but thought when she stopped drinking they would be better. She suffered 2 small strokes about 1 year into her recovery, quite the wakeup call, but she is well and doing fine, working her program and living her "normal, happy, life", whatever that turns out to be.
      Hope to catch you on a chat soon!
      peace
      bettie

    • #21345
      sherry123
      Participant

      2 years is a fantastic accomplishment! Congratulations! And thanks for taking time to share so much guidance and insight to the rest of us.

    • #21346
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by bettie

      Hi Larry,
      … Seams sureal to me-that almost a year has past and here we are, clean and living life …

      Good evening Bettie,
      Thanks for your thoughts and post. I was planing to post something on the 13th and now that you brought my topic nearer the top I will not have search so far back.
      Speaking of surreal, I am posting while watching 60 Minutes and a segment on gambling; it is sad to say but the arguments in favor of Government’s invasion into the gambling scene present a better position than the arguments against it.  No one cares for the addictive compulsive gambler except our fellow gamblers, some close friends, and family members; the rest of the world just don’t get it.  We are looked on as being nothing, or at best sore losers. The governments, and some charitable organizations and churches, only care about the novel approach to increase revenue through this behind-the-back con job on the people that circumvent normal and legal ways of taxing, and the Christian way of "giving".
      But back to us, my pinning, or in my case receiving a coin ironically in the design of a times past dollar slot token, will be on the 15th. I would like to attend a meeting on the 13th but Sundays are the only day that there are not any GA meetings in the area; so my celebration will be online with GT. The important thing is not the celebration, I celebrate each day that I progress, it is knowing that the reason that I am reaching this point is because of my follow gamblers, my attending meeting, both at GA and here on line as I consider my activities here the same as going to a meeting, and my Higher Power.
      In hopes that others may read this, I will again stress the importance to me of our late night chat some time ago.  I know that both you and I know how valuable that time was, but if others have any doubt in the strength that can be found in just talking to someone about what is bothering us, I would like to once again remind them to log on, to make a call, to go to a meeting, to make contact with someone before making the decision to gamble. Of course the connection has to be to gain enough confidence and the acceptance of reality so as not to gamble, and not to be able to say "Oh well, I tried but still found myself gambling". It seems that some use barriers only to be able to say I tried.  As a few others say in their post, we have to quit trying and start doing.
      You my friend have been a leader in the doing, you have overcome many trials and adversities and held true to your recovery.  Keep up your good work, keep on being a help to others.
      God’s speed. I pray that there is never a difference in the amount of time between our adversities.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 8/1/2011 11:49:34 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21347
      finding_laura
      Participant

      good morning Larry (c)  Still on my first  coffee so a little short of words.  Reaching out for help in a time of need is so important.  Having a list handy of those you can call if struggling with urges can be a life saver. How do you get a list of people to call?  Attend a GA meeting. These seem like such simple and obvious answers to me now.  But how i struggled with that while i was still gambling. Thanks for sharing your journey, your struggles.  And I look forward to the 13th!  Good work my friend.
      take care,
      Laura

    • #21348
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry!
      "I tried but found myself gambling" is a cop out for a lot og CGs!
      One woman who used to borrow money from me in the casino used to say it a lot. She spent a few hours there every day when her child was in school and returned every night. She played small. She always lost.She blamed the machines  for her "problem"and resented leaving to collect her youngest child from school. (incidently, this child was unplanned and her older children seemed to be in charege of her upbringing). She used to wait for me in tears in the car park after closing time to borrow money for food and petrol for the next day. I refused to give her money inside the casino. Then she would pour out all her troubles to me. One night after she told me she felt like killing herself. I told her I was giving up lending money to her because it seemed to me she was using that money for gambling and it made me feel guilty. I suggested she would take a break from the slots. Her cry was "I try all the time but find myself here every day" I pushed her to tell me when she had "tried" because every time I went she was there and the staff told me she was a daily gambler. She became quite indignent and walked off in a huff. Of course she wasn’t a CG! Incidently, her name is Betty!

    • #21349
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! Congratulations on your upcoming 2 years of gamble free time.  Thank you for being part of my recovery. I finally understood what the mental banning was, and it does make recovery easier. I did depend on the physical banning for about six months, before I "got" the mental banning. Carole

    • #21350
      paul315
      Participant

      Day 730
      Hello, my name is Larry and I am a compulsive gambler, my last bet was August 13, 2009; two years ago today. There is no GA meeting in my area today so you might find a lot of post in different areas here; the way that I can celebrate this milestone is to be active at a "meeting" that is available 24/7/365.
      I read many post from those reaching single digit or more days of being gambling free and how they are surprised and amazed at their ability to not gamble over this time frame. I can now think back and recall having the same thoughts and making the same statements at my different intervals; e.g. "I can’t believe that I have gone a week, a month, or any of the days that had accumulated. We seem to be surprised that we can do good, to do what is right by making the right choice.
       
      Now that I have advanced some in my gambling free years, albeit only two at present, I am surprised that I could not have started sooner. This is not dismissing the power of addiction, it is recognizing the power of choice, the help of fellow gamblers, and the need of letting go; "Letting go and letting God", the leading part of my 3Gs, guide and strengthen me once I did accept and became willing to change.  Now that I am beginning each day with a resolve to not gamble for anything, I am not surprised to find that life is better.
       
      I could not begin to name the individual ones that have helped me in my recovery, but I can recognize some groups, Gambling Therapy, Gamblers Anonymous, and my Friends and Family, all the ones that made my recovery a smoother course. I will also recognize another group, the collective new members just beginning, and the returning members after a slip, all the ones that join and share their stories; thanks to them and my being open to learning from others, I do not have to reenter the abyss I left. I do not have to satisfy any curiosities about the world of gambling or how I might now deal with it — with their coming here and posting of what has occurred during their gambling, I know that the only thing that has changed in my gambling world is me.
       
      God’s speed and blessings to all. May you all find the strength and guidance in your own Higher Powers that will provide for peace and a better way of life.
      Your Friend in RecoveryLarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21351
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Hello Paul,
      Well done on the 2 years and thanks for all your contributions here. Only this morning I read your post to a new member in F & F that mentioned stopping "processing and start doing". Good point I thought sitting in my comfy armchair…head full of thoughts but very little action.
      I know it helps you in your recovery to post here but you  never really know how many other people it touches and helps.
      Jilly

    • #21352
      p
      Participant

      Larry congratulations on your 2 years.. it is fantastic to come this far and you should be so proud of yourself.. you are a valuable member of this community.. way to go Larry..   Hope you do something nice for yourself !!
       P – Living and Learning

    • #21353
      luce
      Participant

      Congratulations on your two years!!!! Thanks for sharing and helping others here at GT. I agree that you should get yourself a little treat and do something really fun!! Good for you!

    • #21354
      got2quit
      Participant

      hi Larry, just wanted to say congradulation as well. i have read many of you previous post and am glad you started a new one, make easy to continue read you thread, i have taken much of your advice and even followed your shared sites as well as your comments and suggestion, i’m still in recovery and find help in others journals, but i’, selection on what i take to build on to my recovery progress looking forward to your next sharing event thank you again as i much appreciate the the site and all the suggestions etc. coming to my sense may be a long ways away but surely i will get there !

    • #21355
      bettie
      Participant

      Hey Larry,
      Here’s to the next two years-ODAAT!
      Cheers!!
       
       
      YSIR,
      bettie
       
       

    • #21356
      caron
      Participant

      Paul,   Congratulations!  Thank you for your support.  I appreciate it. 

    • #21357
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Dear Larry,
      you have been a most important part of my recovery since I began posting in November, 2009. You shared the good times and the bad as we began to come to grips with our addiction.  Always there with some heart felt advice and sometimes the needed words of comfort.  It seems that many "recovery old timers" seem to dissapear from this site around two years of clean time.  There are several theories as to why, moving on maybe, living life to the fullest hopefully. I know that there are many that go on to live gamble free ODAAT for the rest of their lives and i silently wish them all well. I cannot picture GT without your presence, that means so much to so many. You have been an inspiration Larry, and I know you have been inspired too.  I am a very proud of you and will always be your sister in recovery.  Well done on 2 years gamble free!!!!!!!!!
      Luv Laura xoxo

    • #21358
      vera
      Participant

      Well done on 2 g free years Larry!

    • #21359
      lizbeth4
      Participant

      Congrads on your 2 years of GF time!!   Thanks for your support!!!Seize all the good things in life

    • #21360
      paul315
      Participant

      Good afternoon all,
      I have decided to make another entry to this, what started out to be my main topic for my post, but one I do not follow daily;  I spend a lot of time here, but in participating is other ways. Sometimes I feel that I may be taking too much time from others things in my life but in reading a post from Frozen I recognized that the time spent doing this, in his words, "reading, writing, thinking, self-lecture, forgiving, coaching, believing",  is time "well spent" and is "a good investment".  I also find that it is far less time, and more beneficial, that gambling in the past took up, and even far less time that I spent at work doing most of the same things during part of my career. Time spent occupying most of my days without remorse, other than the forthcoming remorse from the gambling; was no different than this time that I also spend away from other activities, and also without remorse. Today’s entry is for me to put behind me a past and minor dilemma, and to also recognize some good that I have doubted or failed to see in my sharing at meetings. 
      In a couple of recent chat rooms I talked to others about some concerns dealing with another member in that he may have forgotten about his volunteering to bring a cake that is a tradition to honor the anniversary of our members.  During the very limited meeting before my anniversary he, and almost all of the others were unable to attend, there were only two of us there and no reminders of the cake were made.  My dilemma was whether or not I should call him, showing a lack of confidence in his commitment, to bring the cake myself showing the same negativity, or just to accept what would happen; there would be a cake or no cake.  I decided to "Let go and let what happen happen"; it was not up to me to make problems out of what could be no problem.  I am happy that I reached this decision and it made the days leading up to my anniversary more enjoyable, and the event in itself more enjoyable.
      As it turns out, he did forget, but it was the actions of others reminding him at the last moment that caused him to bring the cake without any issue; I did not show my previous and discarded doubts, nor did he have to deal with any possible guilt.  And we all had cake.  There was even another member celebrating 2 Years in addition to me (our clean date is only a day apart), one that had not attended any of the meeting for most of the past year due to school, yet he took off this one night to proclaim his continued abstinence and to celebrate. Although the cake was for all, I felt that I was able to share my cake with him and be encouraged by his upholding his resolve to not gamble, even in his not being able to attend meetings; meeting are important, but being able to stick to our recovery and principles when circumstances do not permit attendance, or when temptations or urges pop up, is more important.
      As for my posting to recognize good, and not withstanding the cautions found in yesterday’s; Thought for the day" (copied below), concerning tooting your own horn; for this is far from my intent, mine is to recognize that my efforts do not fall to the wayside and that I may not be the pest that I see.
      In our GA meetings most of the sharing is about people’s lives and not concentrated on "recovery", per se. Even during our once-a-month Step Meetings that are to be dedicated to the corresponding numbered Step, the sharing is about their families.  I accept and appreciate this form of sharing, in fact I get as much, if not more, from this, and the stories those here tell about their lives and daily actions, that I do from the advice and suggestions offered, or the information I find in searching. I recognize that the life we live resulting form our recovery is what recovery is really about — for us to be able to live a better way of life, to experience all the adventures; and sharing in this better way is a part of recovery. And I do talk about the joys and happiness I find in living gambling free; I share in the good life as the outcome of my recovery as well.
      However, for me, in both my post and my replies to others, I tent to stick to the principles of recovery and the ways and means to use them in my life so that I will continue being gambling free — to me it seems that I might be a pest at trying to guide others to think about or comment on ways to work a program of recovery. Even during the time that I have chaired meetings, I go out of the way to ask that others include these thoughts along with the talk about everyday life; it works at times with some, but for the most part I think that I come across as being bossy when some respond with only "I have nothing to say about that, but … blah blah blah" (this term is not to belittle what they do say, it is just to represent the words they do use). Little of my sharing at the meeting, or in my post here is about my life.  I do not hide my life, and I have and do talk about it on occasion, but most of my time is taken up by my looking for answers.  I have always felt that others might find that I am only taking the opportunity to promote my own thoughts, while I am merely trying to get my thoughts in some order so as to work on my recovery, that I am in reality using my form of posting and sharing as therapy for my shortcomings.
      At my anniversary celebration, these thoughts and fears were somewhat put to rest, I was completely surprised to hear one after another member mention how they enjoyed and benefited from my "being a pest" – my words not theirs, and how encouraging it was for them to continue to look at their recovery, how they appreciated all the searching I did to work my recovery and that they benefited from my sharing in my efforts. Seeing that I did not have to put myself down, left a better taste than the cake.
      Sorry about the ranting and long post, but this is my journey and in trying to know and find myself I hope to lose any misery that could possibly hold me back. Today I will make an effort to accept what I do, and not judge others on how I perceive their reactions.
      God’s speed to all. Stay strong. Keep aware.
       

      Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

       
      Resolve to be thyself; and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
      –Matthew Arnold

      We all have known the braggarts, the boastful ones who constantly toot their own horns. These people crave approval because they don’t yet approve of themselves. There are those who do the same thing but they’re not so noisy about it. The girl who says she’s ugly even though she’s pretty, or the guy who says he’s dumb even though he isn’t. These are not humble people. They are people who need to learn to approve of themselves.

      We don’t have to be either of these people now. We can honestly look at ourselves and see our strengths and weaknesses for what they are. We don’t have to put ourselves down today. Best of all, we can now accept compliments graciously.

      Today I will make an effort to accept myself.
      You are reading from the book:
       
      Our Best Days by Nancy Hull-Mast

       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21361
      lynnie14
      Participant

      I am a few days late, but congrats on your 2 years.  Well done!!
      Lynn

    • #21362
      frozen
      Participant

      Larry, Congrats on entering your 3rd year of being smarter, better, healthier and happier. A toast for your continued success with total-cessation and in all that you do.
      Cheers,
      Frozen

    • #21363
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry, I always appreciate your postings, especially to new members as what you have to say is wise and well thought out. I never find it preachy or boastful or anything negative. I am always happy that you are telling it like it is. And you have the recovery to back up what you say. Thank you for the post today on my thread. Often times I forget how emotionally ill I was when I first came into recovery, and don’t recognize the progress I have made, because of the slips I have had. You are right that I am moving forward, but like many cgs, I lack patience and feel that I am not doing it as fast as I should. I worry about the interview even before I’ve been asked to interview. I struggle with following through on things, because at the time I don’t "feel like it." I have such a long way to go on working on character defects. When I first quit gambling i thought my only character defect was having become a liar. Lol! Carole

    • #21364
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Thanks for your recent posts Larry, Carole is right; your words are always wise and well thought out. I appreciate all you have said to me in recent weeks todays post particularly sums up perfectly my current situation. I have indeed a greater understanding of why certain things may have happened.
      Cheers.
      Geordie.Because recovery is priceless; I dont gamble.

    • #21365
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning all, and thanks to those that post the kind words to me; and hugs "(((  )))", to all that are in need of someone reaching out or just acknowledgement of their presents; too many to mention, but some do stand out in special ways.
      Yesterday I posted to my Ways and Means topic in the Overcoming Problems forum in praise of the GT forums that allowed me to gain and learn from the actions of others that share here, that provides me the opportunity to be open about my own feelings. Stating that this tool was a large part of my recovery. Rereading that post and in reading recent post from others today I thought that I should back up that claim by making a post to this topic.
       
      I started out with thoughts of posting about the enjoyments of my gambling free life, there are many, but have now ventured off that track and will post about how I am able to tell of these events when I choose to, and how I can feel free to post what is on my mind any particular day; not only about my personal life or the ways and means of recovery, but about songs, books, poetry, and movies — and even a joke now and then, that happens to just make me smile, laugh, or think, little things that add to the enjoyment and adventures of living.
       
      The how that allows me to post freely is anonymity as I try to explain below:
       
      My name is Larry, aka paul315, however, in recovery I am simply "ME"; I am simply ME even to some that have got to know me outside my mask of anonymity. Behind this mask, and to those only seeing its face, I am an individual who is powerless over gambling and working on ways to combat its pull and to separate my life from its control. In being ME I can work on becoming the person that I am meant to be without having to use any restricting "diplomacy" to protect or appease others or slip into a codependency connected to them that takes away from what is best for me.
      While having the support of friends and family and being open and honest with them about my problem is also vital, in voicing my innermost private thoughts anonymity is a needed aspect of a recovery program where we open ourselves up to a variety of others. Anonymity allows me to be honest, to speak openly about my behavior, actions and feelings in a safe place so I don’t have to carry a burden of guilt and shame. Anonymity allows me to be open and share with others what I’ve learned about the program, about recovery, and about myself. Anonymity allows me to be me so that I can be Larry in my home life.
      Without anonymity there would be a void or obstacle that could cause unnecessary problems and slow down my recovery. I would hate to think that people I know would choose to invade my privacy to either hurt me or to make themselves out as someone that know the secrets of others; that I was no longer a friend, but the the object of nosiness, or the subject of vicious and harmful gossip. If I had to face such so called friends or even just spiteful onlookers, I do not know what course I would then take; hopefully I would find some way to reestablish anonymity or let time in being absent provide a shield to my privacy.
      I do not feel a threat to my own anonymity but I can see where an invasion can happen, and if it would happen I must remember that humility and understanding will help carry me to then next stage of recovery.
      God’s speed.  Stay strong.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 9/4/2011 2:57:58 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21366
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by frozen, aka  Frozen Assets and Whack-o-Mole(y?)

       
      God forbid someone around here laugh and move away from talking about depression, death, gloom and doom

      I am using this post on my page today to reply to Frozen now that his pages are closed. Firstly and foremost, God’s speed to you my friend, may you "find an inner strength to move past the chaos and a fiery anger to defeat the demon".
      In Frozen’s last post references were made about us wearing mask; perhaps to present ourselves as something different than what we care others to see for some reason, or maybe even for us to hide behind or to camouflage our feelings whether the feeling are of fear, disappointment, or even happiness or content. Nevertheless, we all ware mask of some sort. One of my favorite art posters for Mardi Gras by an artice, Michael Hunt, is of a lady removing her iconic Venetian mask only to reveal the same image behind the mask; ergo, a mask only represents what we choose to display for whatever reason, it does not hide who we are. Yet others choose to perceive the mask as only a way to cope with psychological issues rather than of it being merely for entertainment.
      Humor is also a subject in these post, here again the views are varied and personal; other than a joke not being "politically correct" (which in itself is a bigger joke) I find it amusing that there is so much to do about nothing. But I can still see where the humor of others may be objectionable to some, or that it might be out-of-place in some areas, e.g. "a time and place for everything", or in Biblical terms, "for everything there is a season". However, I do not necessarily understand where that this would be such a protected or restricted place, although taste and sensitivity should be used.
      There is a movie that I recall, The Name of the Rose, where the storyline was that murders of medieval Monks were being committed for the sole reason to hide references to laughter in ancient religious manuscripts. It seems that some leaders of the "Church" felt the humor would take away from the importance of their teaching, or even cause there followers to stop supporting them; or as expressed by Frozen "God forbid someone around here laugh and move away from talking about depression, death, gloom and doom", so they chose to eliminate the mention of laughter altogether, even at the expense of killing off their fellow Monks.
      Well this is enough of my venting and back to my words for Frozen; stay strong my friend, keep working on your recovery.
      BTW, "Did you hear the one about the (Edited by …)? lol
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 9/5/2011 1:48:08 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21367
      velvet
      Moderator

      Hi Larry
      Your contribution to F&F forums is welcome.  You do a lot for us and I hope you can feel the warmth that you give, reflected back, with interest.
      As Ever
      Velvet
       

    • #21368
      bettie
      Participant

       
      Happy Birthday Larry!!!!!!!
      love ya!
      bettie
       

    • #21369
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Happy Birthday x

    • #21370
      desdemona
      Participant

      Happy, Happy Birthday Larry! Hope your day is as special as you are, and that you do celebrate the unique, wonderful person that are. Carole

    • #21371
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! Thank you for posting on my thread, as I do appreciate your words of encourgement and wisdom. I know that gambling was not a healthy response to the intense pain I was feeling that day. It didn’t give me any relief, other than occupy my thoughts for a short time.  Like I said, I didn’t recognize that it was the first death anniversary with me working recovery, and it blind-sided me. I did not think at the time there was anything to be learned through the slip, but it has taught me to be better prepared for the next time Ron’s death could trigger the pain of our childhoods. I wish there was GA close by because I would surely go. I wish I had a sponsor. I wish I didn’t have to drive four hours for counselling apointments. I know these are things I can’t change. But I am thankful for you and the others who support me on GT, without which I would have no chance of recovery. When  say I will try harder, I mean I will be more prepared for huge trigger times. Carole

    • #21372
      sherry123
      Participant

      Happy Birthday Larry.  May this year, and each additional year of your life, be more and more rewarding.

    • #21373
      missingme
      Participant

      Happy Birthday!  How many candles on the cake?  🙂
      MM

    • #21374
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning,
      I will be away for a few days, I am going down to New Orleans for a belated celabration of my birthday (both of them, BB and RCG).  Hopefuly I will be able to connect at an Internet Cafe, but if not, see you all when I return. Just because I might be away from the support I receive here, I can be true to its teachings and live up to my daily pledge to not gamble.
      Laissez le bon temps rouler!  (mais, pas les matrices) — Let the good times roll, but not the dice
       LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21375
      vera
      Participant

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY(s) Larry!
      enjoy your break!

    • #21376
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! I wish I was in New Orleans celebrating. Do tell us what it is like on a weekend there when you get back. Hope you have a great time and that your time there is everything you hope it is and more. Carole

    • #21377
      paul315
      Participant

      9 / 11 — I will not forget "That Day" …
      _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
      9/15, a few days later:
      First of all I have returned from my trip to New Orleans; it was for the most part quite enjoyable, the visit was good and did not challenge my resolve; but the flight down gave me too much cause and time to think about the past. As posted on the 11th, "That Day" … "it’s emotional effect transcended around the world and is still a part of my changed life". I flew out on 9/11, the 10 year anniversary of "That Day", and because of all the media coverage, and my memories, there was little else to think about during the flight. I can not blame those events for my compulsive gambling, but the extreme emotional stress that it caused, and this added to the psychological side effects of some medication and the state of depression that I was battling after having stopped taking it, made for the perfect storm in my life at the time.
      Now, even with the benefit of what I have learned in recovery, escaping from the thoughts that still linger is a continuous battle. A positive note is that I am no longer trying to escape from treatment of depression or from the events and memories of "That Day" by spending all of my energies and time gambling. The gambling did do a good job of letting me bury my feelings and escape from help, but in doing this the gambling only took control of my whole life while letting the psychological problems just abide below the service. The depression is now  under control, however, the memories of "That Day", and the following loss of my family still is a pain that is hard to endure. Taking the plane ride of the 11th was of some help; I did not let the thought of another attack deter me and my plans; now, I only need to not let the memories distract me from living my daily life. I need to make certain that my ODAAT is today, not a different day in the past or future.
      My trip also led to another interesting observation. When walking past the casino in New Orleans I had this tremendous urge to go in and enjoy myself; no, not to gamble, but to eat. I have been watching my diet the past couple of months and had been doing good until now. I found it strange that a place that I spend many hours and days feeding my addiction offered no temptation, but knowing that their buffet was there to feed my appetite did.  I did not give in to that temptation, but, the food in the places that I did visit offered just as much food, and better; so I gave in and simply "Laissez le bon temps rouler!" — and with a little regret, the calories as well.
       
      Note: I refer to 9/11 as "That Day" because there is no need for any added exclamations. Most everyone from certain geographic locations and of certain generational age groups know where they were when JFK was assassinated or when other historic events took place. Other minds and generations absorbed in social living know where they were when Elvis or Michal Jackson, or other public iconic figures died. But, the descriptions or names always have to be added so that we will know what event people are talking about. However, around the world and for generations to come, 9/11 says it all.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 9/29/2011 1:08:15 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21378
      desdemona
      Participant

      Hi Larry! Happy to hear that your trip to New Orleans was for the most part enjoyable. I mentioned this to someone else that Canadians were just as shocked, horrified, and saddened by "the day." To this day, it seems hard to believe that the events leading up to that day were so well orchestrated, and created such devastation and loss to so many. I can see that the date would trigger such sad memories for you, as you lost your wife and daughter, so you three were a casuality of that day, even though you weren’t living in the US then. I wish you a Happy Recovery day today. Carole   

    • #21379
      vera
      Participant

      Larry!
      I just want to say thanks for taking an interest in my "case", for taking the time to write on my thread, and  for ALL the support you give to everybody here. Your commitment is unfailing! Your input is a true testimony to recovery and can only be describes as a "Labour of Love". Reading and writing is not an easy task and it takes a lot of time and thought!
      I really have lost my focous on TRUE RECOVERY. Lately, I feel I ve been fooling myself and others to the point where I don’t want to read, write or even think about GT. Once again I’m escaping to "neverneverland" and looking for every excuse to ruin my chances of recovery. The big question has to be answered! WHY?
      I need to identify with people who are in your position Larry. Of course, I acknowledge that we are all here plodding along in our own place and at our own pace , but having someone to look up to does serve as an inspiration so just for today, Larry, I’m taking you on as my "role model", if that’s alright with you!
      Recovery is so much more difficult than just "not gambling"!

    • #21380
      paul315
      Participant

      Principles Before Personalities
       
      Good evening,
      The days since my last post to this topic have been enjoyable, I have been experiencing the priceless everyday normal enjoyments as only living gambling free can provide; as Vera recently posted, "The non gambling life is so less complicated and easier on everyone!", and as Geordie says, "recovery is priceless".  I can only hope that the rest of the CGs here can also recognize these things in their lives as well; that they can "take the time to smell the roses" — it is in being able to see the little things that lets us enjoy the major ones.  My recovery program allows me to see the little things, my working and practicing that program provides me the strength and awareness to live gambling free, and my living gambling free opens the door to a better way of life; it is a vicious wonderful circle to be caught up in.
      Part of my recovery program is to work, or practice, the Steps in the GA program, both the Recovery and the Unity Steps; I once heard that the Steps of Recovery keeps us gambling free, while the Unity Steps keeps us from killing each other in the meetings. Differences and spontaneous reactions do seem to run strong when groups of people get together or correspond among themselves, even when they all have a common bond and share in the same problems. Another part of my recovery is reading the post here, and in working the GA Steps and reading some recent post here it directed my attention to a need for a closer look at some of the of guiding principles for recovery from addiction.  I sometimes get carried away with what others or doing or how my or their actions can effect me or the community of fellow gamblers that I put the program on a lower level; or myself ahead of the program, e.g. "personalities before principles", the opposite of the way things should be. 
      One of the principles that I was studying today was Unity Step 12, ""Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of the Gamblers Anonymous program, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities". Anonymity as a spiritual foundation goes further than keeping ones identity unknown, it lets spiritual qualities, such as honesty, humility, generosity,compassion, etc., be seen above the "me", me, an individual who is powerless over gambling. 
      Even if I am know by others in a meeting or room as who I am in the outside world, this greater spiritual Anonymity allows me to still be honest, to speak openly about my behavior, actions and feelings in a safe place so I don’t have to carry a burden of guilt and shame. This spiritual anonymity allows me to share with others what I’ve learned about the program, about recovery, and about myself. Anonymity allows me to be kind, to forgive myself and have compassion for others who suffer from this illness, many repeatedly and with progressive deterioration.

      To keep anonymity as a spiritual foundation, I am reminded of another guideline,"principles before personalities"; I need to stay focused on the message, not the messenger, and to pay attention to what is being said, regardless of who’s saying it. Every member has a right to speak, and every member also has a right to be heard. If I measure the value of the words I hear by how much abstinence or slips one may have, that tells me I’m placing personalities first and am closing my mind to a message I may need to hear. In these situations, I’m failing not only my fellow members, but myself.
       
      This is something that I would have normally posted in my "Ways and Means" topic in the Overcoming Problems Forum, but I was here, and just started writing things that I thought I needed to remind myself of.
       

      LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21381
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Larry,
      I found this spiritual anonymity post very interesting, even though I needed 2 strong cups of coffee to get my head even half way round it this afternoon.I think its saying rise above the ego and stuff like that.
      I’m with it all in principle but I still feel I could only go to a gamanon meeting if I could wear the Harry Potter cloak of invisiblity.
      Thank you for all your input and mentally challenging posts.
      Jilly

    • #21382
      vera
      Participant

      Thanks for posting to my thread Larry!
      For some reason I’m only getting half the page but can make out your message.
      Making "idols" of individuals, of course can be dangerous but  I do think that those who persevere in recovery should be applauded and "looked up to" for inspiration and guidance. These people rise above their own personal hangups and ideas and adhere to the common objective. We all are responsible for our own actions but by acknowledging a "Higher Power", we learn to remain grateful to Him and to each other.Hunilty is the gift of every "Trusted Servant."
      You have that gift Larry!
      Time does act as a healer and since CGs are impatient, we often waste time by arguing, by disagreeing and above all chasing our losses and dwelling on the past.
      Accepting the things we cannot change is the biggest step not just in the beginning but all throughout recovery. I think we need to remind each other to be patient enough to reflect on that first step.
      "Not gambling for anything" is a powerful motto! It dispels the idea of winning, the notion of playing and the myth of fortune and luck. Suffice to say that a CG does not have the option to gamble….EVER!
      Thanks for being here Larry!

    • #21383
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Dear Larry,
      I see your name popping up beside mine this morning and wanted to stop by for a cuppa.  I too thank you for being here Larry.  For both us and yourself.  May you have a great gamble free day and thank-you for the well wishes and early acknowledgement 🙂  Now i’m off for a walk to get the endorphins flowing, well, or at least gurgling!  take care,
      Laura

    • #21384
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! I want to ask your advice on a situation. Last year I met a woman in her 40’s who was working as a flag person on a road construction crew. Because I had an accomodation business I allowed her to  move in for a few months and charged her very reasonable rent which she paid me. She has previously been in a rehab program for alcohol and smoking weed. She is also a compulsive gambler when she has the funds to do so. This woman has three adult children but is constantly moving from job to job after a few months and has no home of her own. I have met her two sisters and her one daughter and they are lovely people. She moved from my home after a few months as she went to spend time with friends who have a similar lifestyle as she does in a different part of the province, after her road construction ended. She is now staying with a friend in town here and has plans to take a bus back to where her friends of similar lifestyle are and look for a job there. She called me asking to "crash" at my home tomorrow night and I said yes. I offered her money for doing some cleaning and she readily agreed. She did have her things stored at my place after she moved but when I  started recovery I asked her to move her things as I did not want any friends directly or indirectly that were addicts and not in recovery, around me as I was unstable in my recovery. She has no vehicle as she was charged with a DUI several years ago, and has fines to pay, etc. I called her this morning and talked to her and asked her if she was tired of living like she was and being so unsettled and she said she was. My question to you Larry is how much to help her as we all have had a leg up at times in our life. I’d appreciate your input. Carole

    • #21385
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hiya Larry,
      Thank you for your post, as usual you put a lot of thought into it.
      Heres an interesting tidbit you might like….
      My family nickname is Tootie (tutti).  My father named me as a newborn, he called me little Toot and to this day, 40 years later my mum and siblings still use it.
      I did smile to myself when Wayan said about the house for tutti!!!
      Thanks again Larry, you made me smile this morning,
      K xxxxxxxx
       To live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan

    • #21386
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Good morning Larry,
      it is past mid October already, how time is flying!  Glad to see you staying strong my friend, ODAAT.  The pot of coffee is on.
      take care,
      laura

    • #21387
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! Thank you for your kind post to me. I have to say that the past two nights have been hellish for me as I’ve had problems sleeping and once I do, I’m awake several times during the night. Obviously this situation with Helene is weighing heavily on my mind. I wish I would have read your answer to my question before Helene came here because I know that you’re right about some of the things you said, like her telling me what I want to hear, that she is tired of being unsettled. I don’t expect that things will be an different for her this time around, as she is accustomed to not having a place of her own and changing jobs every few months. Deeply entrenched behaviors are difficult to change unless a person is very motivated. Her last two jobs, the road construction one and a job cleaning in the oil field camps, she was involved in a lot of drama there. In spite of being a rcg myself, I don’t like drama or chaos; I enjoy a quiet environment free of stress, with lots of time to be online. She has told me she will help in the house with painting, etc. and she is not a lazy person. I am alone most of the time so I may enjoy having her as company, especially over the long cold winter. I do trust her with caring for my dogs if I go away, so that too is a benefit to me, as I can’t even go overnight anywhere ever unless I have someone to come in and care for my babies. She has never come back to my home after drinking too much but she did come back one night having smoked weed, and I didn’t care for her personality change that day. I am going to take it a day at a time and see how it goes with her. I am allowing her to stay and hopefully she’ll look for a job in a camp like she says she is going to. She did complete 5 years of income tax she had neglected recently and the gov’t took her refunds and applied them to her student loan so she no longer owes for that, which I see as a positive. I am just providing her a place to "crash" so I’m not going to get my hopes up that anything will change with her. Thanks for helping me fully realize that. That way I won’t be disappointed when my efforts to "help" her don’t materialize into anything but more of the same. Carole

    • #21388
      cat438
      Participant

      Thanks for you post yesterday and all your other posts … it really helpsOne day at a time my sweet lord…

    • #21389
      i am hope
      Participant

      Hi Larry
      thanks for your posts to me and hope you are having a good day, you have done so well in your recovery
       Living with Hope

    • #21390
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      You teach me new stuff all the time. I had no idea how to  get to the stored threads. Like you I would like to send out an SOS to some of the "old timers" we rarely see anymore. A few come right to mind, Colin. Cully, Salina, Kin, Tim-just to name a few.
      You are a thoughtful friend Larry.
      Thanks!
      bettie
      ps How about those Cardinals?
       — 10/30/2011 12:39:02 PM: post edited by bettie.

    • #21391
      icandothis
      Participant

      Larry,  Just wanted to thank you for your positive words.  I am really trying, and I can feel that my husband is beginning to believe in my sincere desire to change.  Although, I can’t make him any promises.
      I know I will struggle, but I might as well reach for happiness.  It can’t be harder, or take anymore energy than creating misery!  God Bless.

    • #21392
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      stopping by to thank you for your words of acknowledgement.  I think my friend that I am following in your footsteps!  And would be hopeless at filling your shoes!  But, i have learned to accept compliments, good for the soul, so thanks again!  Take care Larry, have a good evening.
      Laura

    • #21393
      desdemona
      Participant

      Hi Larry! Just checking your thread to see what’s new. You don’t post a lot about yourself and what you’re up to, so it’s difficult to get to know you. The gal I asked you about moved on after about 9 days. She found a job cleaning on the military base on the midnight shift. Because the company wouldn’t pick her up at my place in the country, social services put her up in a hotel in town, until she gets a full pay cheque. It was nice to have some company. I remember one time asking you about how to mentally ban myself. It took me about 9 months before I was able to do that. Happily, when a thought comes into my head about gambling, I can just dismiss it, because I have finally realized how dangerous this addiction is, and sitting in front of a machine is not worth risking my life for. Thanks for all the support you have given me. Carole

    • #21394
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by carole8755

      … You don’t post a lot about yourself and what you’re up to, so it’s difficult to get to know you …

      Good morning Carole and all the rest,
      First Carole, I will take this opportunity to repeat that I am proud of you and the actions that you and Otella took to start a new GA group; well done, your efforts will be a great help to others.
      Thanks for your asking about me, you are right I do not post much about myself; but me as a CG am no different than the rest of you, so getting to know yourself will help you know me, at least that side of me. The side that I was before crossing over the line and the renewed side after I started recovery can be found in my limited accounts of my life, but perhaps I should post updates more ofter, but although my life has changed and has become better, there is not many new events that happen on a daily basics.  I do the same at my GA meetings, while the others share in their everyday lives telling about their families add the good times or the problems that everyone is going through, I spend my time talking about recovery and the efforts I take and the new way I find that help me. I do add a few line about the happiness I fine in the time I spend with my family and the enjoyment I get in watching my granddaughter grow, but as to other events, I do not find my going to work a few days a week that eventful — other than the fact that thanks to my recovery, I can function in this way. Nor, thankfully, I do not have any personal or family problems that I have to deal with on a daily or recurring basis, other than the past ones associated with the addiction. This is most likely because I am not that knowledgeable to the events in the lives of my brother and sister and any of their problems, we see each other on holidays and an occasional marriage of a nice or nephew, and alas a few funerals.  The life of my daughter and son here in the US that I do see regularly is going well and good, and saying all is well seems to be all that I do.
      Regretfully (a regret and guilt that I work at daily but still deal with even at this stage of my recovery) a part of my life that I would like to share with others here and at GA, I am isolated from; my French family is miles and years away and I do not know much about their daily life. So talking bout what I loss all that time would be too great of a challenge to my recovery. I find that dwelling on what I caused is different than dealing with the consequences; if I were to dwell on this tragedy in my life I think that I would be gambling.  I do not know if this is just my suppressing too much, or me only being open to the truth that that life is over and I think that at this time it makes no discernable difference. However, the thought still saddens me, and I still live on the hope that it may not be. 
      My way of posting and sharing does not however take away form my appreciation and help I find in all the sharing that others do about their families, their sharing is a great part in my escaping from my gambling years and becoming aware that such things do exist in a normal life. I have made the people here and at GA part of my extended family, and maybe if I would narrow my own view on what I think is important to share, I would tell more stories as well — perhaps another character trait that needs to be looked at. In the mean time I can only be happy and grateful that the adversities that I do have to face are few.
      I was planning to post to my topic on the 13th, for reasons I will explain below, but your post, and the topic of today’s "Thought from Hazelden" –"Now is the moment to … begin whatever project we have been putting off" has me posting today instead.  I was waiting for Sunday because it will represent, with the help of my 3Gs, my 27th month of being gambling free, 810 Days ODAAT.  This plan was put in place during a GA conference over the week-end. In that conference a speaker made a commit that I did not agree with entirely, but in following one of the many sayings of recovery, "take what you like and leave the rest", I not only left what I found to be a negative type statement, but I turned it into a positive action for me to take. The statement was an innocent one intended for us to be more direct in our help offered to a few members that often slip and return; that our applauding each new clean date (part of the ritual at some GA meetings where members introduce themselves and state their clean date before sharing) could be an encouragement for them to just try and not do.  I see this applause as a recognition of their courage to come back and be honest with their actions, not just a way of being polite. 
      This comment also made me realize how much such recognition is important to me. Now that I no longer receive a token that represents monthly milestones like before, now that formal recognition only come yearly, I need the weekly applause that I receive, the recognition helps me; not taking form the trust they have found in me and the faith in myself that they helped form, has become another tool for me to use to not return to gamble. Therefore my post today is me recognizing my efforts and patting my self on the back — this is done with humility and accepting the truth and fact that it was not "me" doing it, it was my program and my fellow gamblers. No man is an island in themselves, therefore, either is no island  made up a single inhabitant — the whole community of fellow gamblers are part of our recovery island.
      I will also use this post to say "Well Done" to each and every one of you for each and every day that you each live gambling free or working toward that end. I to post this recognition to each member, but the days are too many for me to keep track.
      With all this said, and all of my once again venting on my thoughts of recovery, I will close with saying the my live is going well. I am looking forward to my 3rd gambling Thanksgiving in the US,and my 3rd gambling free Christmas; each day is a new day bringing about a new university foe many events and adventures.  I am working at a job that supplements my retirement and allows me to live better than some, yet not as well as others. I am able to take a short time off now and then to visit my other hometown New Orleans, but still cannot be a more distant or a world traveler. I am in fairly good health, a couple of the old man problems relating to blood pressure, cholesterol, and arthritis aches, and of course the problem of being overweight that is also shared by others here.  I am sort of a loner compared to a earlier life of going out all that time when single, and of doing family things that we did regularly when living with a family, but I do not see this as a bad thing. For me it is a good life, and the times that I do venture out for entertainment or socializing is often enough to keep me form becoming a real recluse or sociopath.  For the GA seminar I rented a car and took advantage of it to visit a few old haunts here in Saint Louis, outings that only made me realize that I do not need the daily socialising or interface, that my limited time out makes the times I do go out more enjoyable. I do this each time I fine a real need for a car and rent one, and perhaps my not having a car at my disposal every day limits my going out more often, but this did not slow me down before, this is just the way I have revolved. 
      All in all, "Life is Good".
      God’s speed to all. Stay strong. Live life and enjoy all of its adventures, and grow in any of its adversities.
      .LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21395
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! First of all, I want to congratulate you on almost 27 months of gamble free time. It’s a great accomplishment and a witness to other rcgs that it can be done, a day at a time. What a brilliant concept the one day at a time. I have wanted to tell you almost from the start that I was having a difficult time getting to know you and getting close to you like I have with other people from this site. Getting close to other people is difficult for some people as it represents fear that they can be hurt by that person. For myself, I would rather risk being hurt than not getting close, but I do choose the people I want to be close to. Most of us don’t have any big events in our life on a day to day basis. My life would be considered boring by most people. I don’t work and am home alone most days as my husband works out of town. The big event in my life right now is the new GA group.  When I started to read your post where you said getting to know myself would be getting to know you, my initial thought was "now there’s a cop-out." But then I read the rest of your post and was very happy to see that you did share some of your personal life.  I am interested to hear about what you do when you go to New Orleans, what you saw, what you ate, etc. And I’m sure you have cute or funny stories about your granddaughter. But of course that will be up to you whether you let us into that part of your life. I hope that you know me well enough to know that none of this is meant as critisism. I just want to know who you are besides being a rcg. Carole 

    • #21396
      icandothis
      Participant

      Hi Larry,  I just read your last post.  Of all your posts, this one really touched me and meant the most to me.  Although, advice from someone who has been in recovery as long as you have is very much appreciated, to me sharing a piece of yourself with others means so much more.  We share our human stories of stuggle and triumphs to discover our own insights and also hope that others will see themselves in our stories and they will benefit as well. I want to thank you for making yourself vulnerable, by sharing a bit of your past and present life with us.  Sharing our feelings of guilt and our regrets isn’t easy, it is the human condition that we all have in common.  For whatever reason, and I am not really sure why, it helps to know that I am not the only one who struggles. 
      Any way, I admire you very much, and I hope you continue to share.  I do understand why you would not want to dwell on the past, and it could not have been easy to share.  I  hope you decide to share a little more of yourself and your life with us.  Whether you decide to do that or not is up to you, but now when I read your posts, I can see a real person who still struggles with his past and still struggles to stay gamble free.   
      When I post, i have a hard time knowing what to say.  Sometimes, I can hardly believe that it is me who is writing.  You do such a good job, and your input and consistent posts mean alot to the success of this forum.  Thanks again.  God Bless.

    • #21397
      kathryn
      Participant

      Hiya Larry,
      I was just thinking about you.
      I think you are an amazing part of this forum, i for one, am very very grateful you are here.
      Sending a little love your way today my friend,
      Love Kathryn xxxxx
       To live, that would be a great adventure – Peter Pan

    • #21398
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by icandothis

      … We share our human stories of stuggle and triumphs to discover our own insights and also hope that others will see themselves in our stories and they will benefit as well …

      Good morning all, and thanks to Ican and Carole for encouraging me to post more to my page.
      Events of the past few days have made evident how much influence the people here and at GA have on my recovery. I found stories shared here and the teachings at a recent GA conference to be just what I needed to stay gambling free and not return to gambling for escape.  One of the quotes from Hazelden that I keep at hand speaks of what I had to do: "the trick, for me, is not stopping gambling, but staying stopped and learning how not to start again".
      Celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the US with my children is an event that recovery has returned to me as a great enjoyment; there were a couple of years that gambling caused me to throw this opportunity away, and now that I am back to living a more normal way of life, this is one of the most enjoyable benefits.
      This year my daughter told me that there was an urgent need for them to be out of town and not have dinner at their house; they had to be out-of-town and be with my son-in-law’s family because they could not make it here; the change was due to a serious medical condition of an uncle. My selfish needs overcame my understanding and acceptance of things outside of my control, the good in the act of love by my daughter to others was set aside and thoughts of filling this void and hiding this hurt started to take over.  I found myself making planes to gamble. 
      This started with my planning to go out of town to have a Thanksgiving feast at a hotel or restaurant, to celebrate in a fashionable manor. This changed from just making a short trip, to thinking that a casino buffet would be a good place to enjoy dinner by myself, a place that catered to singles.  This in itself did not present the problem, but the web sites I looked at looking for a place, planted thoughts of gambling just a little in addition to the meal, I was falling for the temptations and making planes for a relapse.  
      Thankfully, in reading the post of others and reviewing some material on relapses from the conference, I came to my senses and was able to overcome this urge and foolish thoughts; I switched to looking for a local restaurant, one not associate with a casino serving a holiday meal, after all I go out alone often. 
      And now the part that, although not as important as my change-of-heart, is nevertheless one that represents a great feeling. A few days after all the conflicting emotions and my finally making the right choice, my daughter informed me that Thanksgiving Day plans at her house were back on; I can’t say that this was a reward for my making a right choice, it is just something that happens in normal everyday life; it is just as much part of the adventures of life that the disappointment was, only that my work in recovery showed me that I was able to handle both — but admittedly accepting this latest news with more enthusiasm.
      The reason for the change in plans is not the best, but still shows the love that others can have and share; at first the uncle was wanting to spend some of his last days at his brothers home, now my son-in-law’s dad is making the trip to be with his brother, the uncle is not up to make the one to their home.  And strangely enough, I wish that my daughter and her family could make that trip also; I am not what this day is about, it is what we each have to be thankful for, and how we are able to share it in unselfish ways, that had always made this day of observance important to me, and once again does. Without recovery, there would be no reason for it.
      God’s speed. Life is good. "Recovery is priceless".
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 11/15/2011 4:02:24 PM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21399
      icandothis
      Participant

      Hi Larry,  Glad you didn’t gamble! 

    • #21400
      icandothis
      Participant

      Happy Thanksgiving, one day early.  I’m busy cooking and will be cooking tomorrow and enjoying time with my family.  Just wanted to say happy Thanksgiving and to say I’m glad you won’t be eating Thanksgiving dinner at a casino buffet this year!!!  Sending gratitude your way for all you do to help others on this site.

    • #21401
      bettie
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      Just sitting here waiting for my friend who was suposted to be here hours ago so I could do their hair. I am a bit frustrated, as I feel taken for granted. Had a situtation at work that was similar-must be something in the air.
      I know you had not banned at the casino but might I suggest it? When these wild hair thoughts come to my mind I remember that I am banned and that thought holds me until common sence comes back and the thought of gambling leaves.
      As I count my Thanksgiving blessings I count our friendship and mutual support high on the list.
      Thank you, my friend!
      peace
      bettie
      ps the pumpkins pies are especialy good this year!

    • #21402
      sherry123
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing. It’s good to hear how you reasoned yourself out of ‘the excuse’ to gamble and then to plan on eating where there wouldn’t be the temptation to gamble. You’re a great role model for the rest of us.
      I’m glad you can have Thanksgiving with your family.  Wishing your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • #21403
      paul315
      Participant

      Good morning,
      I hope all of my American friends enjoyed Thanksgiving Day, I know I did.  The morning started with me meting my family downtown for the Thanksgiving Day parade. It was a treat watching my granddaughter enjoy everything, and to see her smile at me when I walked up. And it was a good feeling for me to know that my being a couple of blocks away from the casino made no difference to me. It was however a subtle reminded of the past when I was there instead of with my family and gave me some mixed thoughts, but no desire or temptation to stop by afterwards. And surprisingly enough the casino was not a sponsor of the parade, or have a float entered like they do in other events; the family atmosphere was not polluted by gambling influences.
      I spent the day before cooking by contributions to the dinner; I make the homemade dressing for the meal, the others give way to convenience and throw together a box-mix, not that bad tasting, but no where the same as a traditional effort to cook the best. I also made a pumpkin pie from scratch, preparing fresh pumpkin instead of something out-of-the-can; again not a bad way, but not my way for a special occasion. I do have to give credit to my son who cooked most of the other dishes the old fashioned way using fresh ingredients and real cooking techniques; prepared boxed mixes and instant mashed potatoes just do not make the grade. And although my daughters "turkey" was good, it was a turkey breast, no legs or wings, or no giblets to make the gravy; no reflection on her, but I passed up the canned gravy using my need to watch my diet as an excuse while stuffing myself with the other food.
      All in all it was a good day with no thought of rushing through to watch the big football games (American football, and in some parts of Canada and a few other areas),  or head out for the ridiculous early lineup for the midnight beginning of this years Black Friday shopping extravaganza; another over-commercialized contribution of corporate greed at its best. Another attack on family life when one or more of its members are forced to walk away form their family and subject themselves to a self-induced form of indentured slavery by working the unnatural hours to make ends meet. And the same disruption to family life when the shoppers that seem to have a need to save a few dollars of things that they would not have for the most part bought otherwise. Enough of the soap-boxing, again all and all it was a good day and a continuation of the better life that being gambling free provides.
      I have a lot to be thankful for, the good that I enjoy and the happiness I receive, what I am able to give and share with others, and even some material things that make life easier and more comfortable.  Life is good.
      God’s speed to all.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21404
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Life is good indeed, Larry. While the Canadian Thanksgiving is a distant memory, I do love the holiday. I’m not in very good shape having given into weakness recently, but reading your post gave me hope and a bit more strength this evening. Having so recently fallen, the thought of rushing back is my constant companion. Even tonight, my husband is out of town, my kids are finally old enough to be on their own and I could go out if I chose. But I’m staying close to the forum and I’m reading my heart out on Google on changing negative thought patterns. This is helping me for tonight. Just a few minutes ago, there was a frenzied ringing on my doorbell. It was the young man next door who had locked himself out, leaving his sleeping baby inside. He was frantic, asking for my husband and looking for various tools to try and get in. Thankfully, I’m home (not out getting into trouble) AND I’m creative. He tried for a long time to take out a window, to no avail. I convinced him to use my method of getting in the back door. (Don’t ask how a lovely girl like me knows how to break into a house, lol!!) Anyway, the poor man almost cried with relief when he got inside … and just within the nick of time too. The baby was waking up. It felt so good to be there and be able to help. The small joys … it’s lovely when we’re present enough to enjoy them. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Love, RG

    • #21405
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by runninggirl

      Life is good indeed …… …  It felt so good to be there and be able to help. The small joys … it’s lovely when we’re present enough to enjoy them.
      In posting here I am trying to keep what started out as my main journal fresh and current. I do not know where writing my post will lead, but to start with I would like to comment on RG’s story in her post to me where she had the presents of mind and body to do a good thing. When we are lost in our addiction we sometimes, if not always, do not realize the corporeal damage we can do to others, or the inability that our addiction puts on us to act in a humane or grateful way. We are not ourselves and we can not be the person we are meant to be at the given moment. And even after we come to terms that we are CGs and that we can not gamble, some still cast aide and disregard the need for us to "be there" for others. We fail in living up to our resolve and are limited in partaking in the good life.  Runninggirl, you are living a life that we all should strive for. Well done.
      The life is good part of her post stands mostly on it on, "life is good indeed"; that is, if we live life as we are meant to and not try to outline every step that we wrongfully "wish" to take, and just as important, try to plan the lives of others to match our own plans — "Man plans, God laughs". For a CG when we venture back to our old ways and disregard the road map that is needed to live life, we feel that life is not good. However, life is still good, it is us that have a need to adapt to a better and more normal way of living.  To paraphrase a past message by the Dalia Lama concerning entering into the new millennium; living in recovery and a gambling free life in itself will be nothing special. As we enter into this renewed life things will be the same; there will be nothing unusual other than the absence of and additional consequences of  our gambling. However, if we really want life to be happier, more peaceful and more harmonious for us and those around us, we will have to make the effort to make it so. This is in our hands. The good life is up to us and comes from our work and efforts. 
      During the past few days I have read the accounts of compulsive gamblers "slipping" and going back to their old ways for one reason or anothe, and the post of some being disgruntle and upset over the normal actions of others or traditional events that seem to go against their beliefs or ability or willingness to accept what is. I feel that a subtle reply to these post here will be less comfrontational and judgemental so I will post my feeling as to how their actions relate to me and direct some comments that I need for myself to me instead of looking as if I were "preaching" to others.
      I for one know that if I were to have similar attitudes or the unwillingness to adapt that I would just say "F***-it" and return to the escape that gambling had to offer. I could not stay gambling free if I did not deal with the everyday problems of life in a way that I have learned through the work in my recovery. The challenges and temptations of the world would destroy me if my addiction was still controlling my life. Without my surrendering to the addiction and accepting that I had to live a life with proper guidelines and conditions my life would still be controlled by gambling.  This is not to say that I am letting recovery control my life, one control can be as harmful as any other, but that I am controlling my own life by following a spiritual pattern in my life. To quote from GA, this spirituality "can be said to describe those characteristics of the human mind that represent the highest and finest qualities such as kindness, generosity, honesty and humility". I have also found that spirituality also includes characteristics that represent the highest qualities in moral, civil, and social ways of living ones life. I do not think that we can partake in the questionable ways of the world or sins of the flesh and still be able to concentrate of living a better way of life. We are accountable for our actions and the consequences for wrong doings can destroy the good that our work in recovery has provided. 
      There are many different things in life that can set off negative thoughts and actions, some of which I have not had to encounter, and to be truthful I do not know how I would deal with them at that precise moment. However, I do know that I have to keep working on my recovery and change in my life and character so that a foundation can be established that will allow me to stand up against any unforeseen or unneeded surprises. If I do not accept what I have to do for today, and do not go further in working toward additional strength for the future, I will be denying myself and loved ones of a more normal and better way of life. 
      I also feel that, like the ones that come back with the courage to share about a relapse or slip, if I ever had to deal with something that I was not prepared for and thought my only way out was to escape by return to the false comforts of gambling, that I would still be in recovery. And although a slip or stumble in that journey would bring about a relapse and break in continuous clean time, I would be progressing and be far better off than not starting or returning at all. I admire and take from the courage of those having to face things that seem to be overbearing. I also have faith in their efforts that they will go beyond abstaining and just trying to recover to the time that they evolve into living through recovery and enjoying the life that is meant for all to live. In addition I can, and have learned from them. 
      As told in the beginning I did not know where this post would lead, but it is something that I needed to write out and am ending up actually posting. Many times I only vent out my thought and not post them because just typing out my thoughts is a great help to me; journaling is a strong tool to use in recovery.  I also see that my posting on the need for strength and the need to prepare ourselves for turns of events might just be what I need to deal with what I started our to post about; but writing so much now could distract form the real post to keep my main journal up to date so I will post more later.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 11/28/2011 1:19:15 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21406
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315
      … I will post more later …

      Good morning,
      As posted before, my Thanksgiving was good, it changed from being a temptation to gamble a few days before because of  the thought of being alone, to a day of joy and staying gambling free and one of celebrating with my family. However, the time in between my dilemma and the celebration, and a part of the time following, brought on even more challenges to my recovery and my emotional being. Life is good, but it does have its ups and downs.
      The day before my daughter told me about fears concerning her marriage, fears that I hope will prove to be without merit and caused by an onslaught of feelings of insecurity and a change in hormones, added to the stress of an extra financial burden and demand of time that they are facing in a immense remodeling of their house; but nevertheless fears that were affecting her and ones that caused me to feel helpless and hurting for her. At least I believe that I was able to advise her correctly in telling her to not let the issue build and fester, to talk to her husband about it and get help. (I know that hidden feelings and suppressed depression caused me to live in and face pure Hell, and I did not want her to have to endure such damaging after affects.) They were able to talk about her feelings and she is seeking outside help through their church. This was not easy for them, but I think that things will work out for the best. I know that it helped relieve some of my feelings of being inadequate to save her from pain and distress, maybe a selfish relief, but one that benefits them as well. Thankfully, even with the pressures of everyday life interfering with a festive mood, they, my granddaughter and son, and myself was able to enjoy the day for what it is meant to be, to be thankful for what we have.
      The part that hit me hard the day after had to do with my other daughter in France, and is something that I do not feel giving her any advice can help. Although it is something that she is living with and has to unfortunately face, and is something that I hopefully and prayerfully will find that she can learn to not let control her future. But for me it is a truth adding to my regrets and a rekindling of the guilt that I have been dealing with. I know that my addiction caused me to act irrational and in unnatural and unhealthy ways, but addiction also works at transferring guilt to us.
      I was in the process of purchasing a Christmas gift for her, something that I knew that she desperately wanted. Just when I found a great deal and told her mother about it, I was informed that my daughter bought it for herself that very day, that she could not wait for Christmas, and worst, she was not looking forward to Christmas, that it meant nothing to her anymore. I was pleased to hear her reasoning that to her it was a day to be with family, but to know that I was a reason that her family could not be together hit me with a fierce stabbing feeling.  I have not been there for the past few years but she had her grandparents with her to help in not being alone, and she still has her mother, but things are tense between them all this year and there will be no family gathering. How do I live with this?
      Through my program of recovery I know the answer is not to return to escape but to continue to practice and work on my recovery, nevertheless the question and its reason is still bearing down hard on me; all the principles of recovery and living can not take away the sting. But I also know that" this to shall pass", maybe not in the most comfortable way, but in one that will not cause her lasting harm and one where I can continue to enjoy the benefits of living a better way of life if I stay on track; this burden is but another consequence of my addiction and my not seeking help in time, and one that I can overcome with the help I now know is there. God give me the knowledge and power to carry out your will and reach this end. 
      May the spirit of Christmas future shine on this Christmas present. LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21407
      vera
      Participant

      Sounds as if you are going through a rough patch Larry, but we can’t blame our actions for everything that goes wrong…its my sons birthday today. I put myself out to make arrangements which he failed to comply with..some beyond his control so Im going to drive to collect him now…we ll be home at ten pm when most of his "day" will be over…Its tiring being the one making all the effort but all we can do is our best in any situation. I will not get overinvolved with his problems tonight. He has walked out of his new job(again) ….has no money etc etc..
      I can relate to that disappointmenent of getting a special present for your daughter, only to discover that she has bought it for herself….no joy in life when we succumb to instant gratification…nothing keft to look forward to…happened me with hubby a few times…had things wrapped up as a Christmas surprise and he just went out a few weeks before and bought the thing for himself…remember there are somethings that money cannot buy Larry…Hold on to those things…
      Sorry for rushed post…facing out in the wet windy weather will remind me of all the other nights I left my sons waiting when I was gambling and couldnt leave to collect them, so…Im off
      God bless!

    • #21408
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by vera

      Sounds as if you are going through a rough patch …

      Life does have it ups and down, but the adversities and disappointments that life presents in normal living are just that, part of life and its adventures.  Outside of having to once again face the consequences of my actions, life for me remains much much more than the one that compulsive gambling had control of.
      With that said, I am also dealing with some minor interference in the way I have became used to. My time ad work has increased some and while that is good as for more money coming in, it takes away form the free time I am becoming used to. This is not a complaint, the work hours are still far below a normal work week and are nothing in comparison to the many hours others have to work, it is just that as retired person, I am still being controlled by the requirements of a part time job, and the few extra benefits that it provides, a contradiction to my independent nature and the idea of being retired.
      The reduction in my leisure time does not bother me as much as I am putting on, but the time that is being taken from me to spend reading and replying to others here dose bother me — to the new members that I have not welcomed, and others that I have not offered encouragement, I take this time to recognize you. 
      I am having to starting work earlier a couple of days so I can not take time to read all the daily post,more less respond as frequent that I have.  I do not even have all the time i like to read each of the inspirational articles that I have become used to. I can still read them in the evening but these actions have became part of my morning meditation and a preparation for my daily pledge. I have missed doing these same things on occasion before, but the cause was of my on doing and my being away enjoying life, now it is because of an outside, yet actually needed, influence and is having a different effect on my thinking.  It is not a huge problem nor a noticeable threat to my sobriety, but it is nevertheless a cause of some concern and a challenge for me to make the right adjustments.
      Like I said above, just some minor inconveniences, but some things that I need to sound out so that they do not become major reasons to find relief for, relief from something that needs no relief in places that can only cause real problems. A relapse doesn’t just happen, things build up and accumulate to allow the power of addiction to move in; my hurt feelings and guilt about not being with my daughter, and with the truth being told, her mother included, added to even minor changes in my lifestyle could become such a reason. My being able to talk about it destroys any reasons to gamble, nipping them in the bud before they can do harm.  
      God’s speed.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21409
      icandothis
      Participant

      Hi Larry,  You are such a caring, compassionate person.  I am sorry you are hurting concerning your daughter in France.  It must be very difficult not being with her.  I am thinking that your gift was your way of letting her know how much you love her and wish you could be with her.  Very disappointing, but I am sure you will find another way of letting her know how much she means to you, and you would be with her if it were at all possible.  As far as her realtionship with her mother, you can’t really control that, just hope and pray for the best.  I know you will continue to send her all your love and support because inspite of the feelings you have about the person you were in your past, this is the person you are NOW. 
      As far as your morning routine, don’t be unselfish.  Do whatever serves you and your recovery best.
      Thanks for your insights on my dream.  I hadn’t thought about calling in the plumber.  Thought maybe I would just keep flushing, flushing, flushing!  You are not the first person on the site who has suggested a therapist.  Hmm.  I did talk to husband this morning, and although I didn’t admit to the extent of the damage done last week, I did tell him that I needed his help.  He would have to control the money and I was not strong enough to do this on my own.  Baby steps.  As far as those cries for help, next time I need help, I think I’ll just ask and forego the theatrics.  I would like to think that I am beginning to growing up–but oh these growing pains! 
      Stay strong, and thank you for all you contribute and mean to this site.
       

    • #21410
      i am hope
      Participant

      Hi Larry i think it is fantastic the way that you are so aware of everything in recovery, you have been an inspiration to me with your words and thoughts. Hope that work situation settles in just fine for you
      Living with Hope

    • #21411
      vera
      Participant

      Larry I just want to tell you that this time 3 years ago I was driving home from my favourite casino, a FREE WOMAN! I had self excluded!
      Although, of course I did find other devil’s dens, I never set foot in those sister casinos in those 3 years!
      Self exclusion does work!

    • #21412
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Hi Larry,
      I missed your thanksgiving posts but have caught up before the next turkey holiday.  It is Sunday morning early for me and I’m happy to have a couple hours of reading and posting, and maybe some chatting, while i have my coffee. 
      You are present in the conversation with your daughters, no matter how uncomfortable things get.  Being abstinent is really allowing you to be the father you want to be, the one that is there.  If you were gambling your daughter in France wouldn’t be able to talk to her dad and share and express her concerns.  I don’t know her age Larry, but if she is in that teenage faze, they often are contrary by nature!  But at the same time they are registering that you are there and you are sharing your feelings with them as well.  Do you skype?  Just a thought!
      I hope you are able to save up some of those extra dollars to do something nice for yourself.  Beating yourself up now won’t correct the past.  And feeling deprived can drive us back to the gambling.  Realistic rewards and maybe something a little more than an extra cup of coffee!  Thank-you Larry for being who you are.
      take care,
      Laura

    • #21413
      i am hope
      Participant

      Hi Larry just wanted to say i hope you have a great gamble free day and i think you have done such an amazing job with your recovery
      Living with Hope

    • #21414
      sunny123
      Participant

      Dear Larry,
      started reading your journal and found this post which is very relevant for me and i think may help some others who have just started their recovery recently.. it shows our determination and committment and how it is different from the attempts which we make and then relapse..
      once again thank you for writing in this forum..
      regards
      sunny
      – One Month Anniversary
      Hi … My name is Larry and I am a Compulsive Gambler.  My last day to gamble was August 13, 2009.
      While I am very pleased that I can make this statement today, I find it hard to believe.  I can not start to name the times that I hopelessly said that I would not gamble for one month, or for one week or even a week-end. I have also tried, and failed, to condition my gambling  until a certain event, like the next full moon, or I would only gamble it I won a hand of Solitaire, or until my next payday.
      The problems with those past attempts were that; one –  they were giving me the option to gamble again, so when I slipped I merely resumed gambling earlier then planned, not failed in my goal (although, I did on occasion keep my word not to gamble until my next payday, but, when I often failed at this goal, it cost me even more in the high overdraft and returned check fees); and , two – the time frames I set, even the "one week" or "few days" restrictions, left open too big a gap for outside influences to weaken my reserve.
      Now, I only say, and solemnly pledge, that I will not gamble for today. This total commitment not to gamble, even for just that one day, completely removes the "until" time that was to allow myself to gamble again; and, it greatly restricts the time frame left open for all the outside forces to interfere to only 24 hours (this shorter 24 hour window is further reduced by filling it with other actives, and the outside forces are hindered by the barriers I have put in place).  
      Far me to be able to begin by Month 2 tomorrow, I have to continue to be gambling free today; to help me accomplish this, I pledge that I will not gamble today.
      Thank all of you here for the support and engorgement that I have gained through all your post and your sharing of your means to combat this disease. In return for your help I can only offer these few words of advice, "make and keep this same Daily Pledge, and travel your path One Day At A Time".  Again, thank you.
      Larry, aka Paul315

      "Day Two is Still a Day Away" – No matter how long in the program, I realize that without help and strength I might have to, but hopefully not, begin a new Day Two from time to time.
      — 11/3/2009 11:42:10 AM: post edited by paul315.
       
       
       tomorrow will be better than yesterday.

    • #21415
      paul315
      Participant

       
      Tis the season!  It is also an opportunity for me to be a little more personal and post more about my enjoyments rather than just things about the ways and means of recovery. 
      However, even though the holiday season is upon us and while all is well with me, it is the time that others that are still combating compulsive gambling realize a little more first hand just how much trouble gambling has been causing them in their life and the lives of those around them; one recent post by a new member reminded me of this part of the gambling addiction, e.g. " I spent my last $’s at the casino. It was meant for Christmas presents for my daughter and wife …".  I have more thoughts about this, but will post them later; for now my post today will be about recovery allowing me to enjoy participating in celebrations with my family.
      A few nights ago it was my granddaughter’s Christmas play and one again I was able to attend without having to rush of to gamble on the way home, or to make excuses and even not go. The play was not the enjoyment, in fact it in a way showed that life without gambling still had disappointments — the church members, or at least the ones that are willing to participate, mostly lack of talent, and yet I am sure that their families enjoyed their parts as much as I enjoyed Katie’s. The enjoyment was in seeing my granddaughter face when she looked out and saw me there, and being with my son and daughter for an evening out.  Not all enjoyments or disappointments are  breathtaking or earth shattering, but as an active CG, any degree of any emotion can give reason to gamble and result in missing out or escaping that part of lives many adventures; on the other hand my sobriety is a present that goes on and on.
      This year is also special because my granddaughter’s desire to help me plan for a gift that her mother wanted. I normally don’t pay attention to any "list" at all, and buy something that I find to fit in with and be of interest to the ones I give to; in fact I have intentionally not got anything on a list, feeling that I am giving a "gift" not a helping hand – my personal thoughts on my giving, not on other’s ways.  This system has worked for me all through the years and I have yet to get something that they were not thrilled with, or had to return.  So this year, part of my gift to my granddaughter was to let her plan the gift for her mom. I took the present to her that night so that my daughter would have it early on Christmas morning, it is something that will be helpful in her fixing brunch for all the family, and my granddaughter’s giggles and happiness the whole evening about our surprise was a gift to me.
      Another special feeling about Christmas was that I was also to get my daughter in France something that she was completely surprised with and just as happy to happy to receive; she was home when it arrived and rushed to open it without waiting for Christmas like I had hoped, but at 15 I guess that Santa no longer exist anyway. As I mentioned in an early post here, she is not happy with Christmas this year, but I hope that my gift will make it a little more enjoyable. I saw on her Facebook page a lot of interest in photography, with a lot of her photos being displayed as well, not only the silly themed ones, but some of her good work. Last year she got a good camera, this year I surprised her with a lens that she would not have bought on her own. It can’t soften her having a Christmas without family, but hopefully the surprised gift will let her know that I put in an effort to find something for "her", and not just send a package because it is Christmas.
      So all in all it has been a good beginning to a season of joy.
      God’s speed, and Happy Holidays. And an early Merry Christmas to those that believe.
      Larry

      Thanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.– 12/20/2011 4:28:06 AM: post edited by paul315.

    • #21416
      vera
      Participant

      Glad to hear your Christmas plans are going well Larry!
      Like "banning", our plans and dreams are very much in the mind. A positive attitude can have a knock on effect!
      God grant us all the Serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
      Life will never be perfect, but gambling will only serve to magnify it’s imperfections , so lets stay positive and G free !
      Today, I will not gamble!

    • #21417
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315
       
       Tis the season! …
       … the holiday season is upon us and while all is well with me, it is the time that others who are combating compulsive gambling realize a little more first hand just how much trouble gambling has been causing them in their life and the lives of those around them; one recent post by a new member reminded me of this, e.g. " I spent my last ($’s) at the casino. It was meant for Christmas presents for my daughter and wife …"

       
       
      I will now post some more about the Holiday Season starting with some words copied from a past Christmas post by Velvet in the Friends & Family Forum, "It is my belief that most, if not all CGs (in action) do not enjoy Christmas. It is a gathering together of family and friends. Expectations of good behaviour are too high for the CG. Expectations for getting everything perfect are too high for  (the non-cgs). Christmas is a time when it has become the practice for presents to be given in abundance and the CG, if he has any money left, will not want to part with it because it is all important for the winning gamble".  I added the inserts because I for one am one of the exceptions for those not being able to enjoy the Holidays; now that I am practicing what I have learned in my recovery, having a gambling free Christmas is once again an enjoyment. (Read her past posts concerning Christmas in the F&F section on each December 25 for a few years – it can be a helpful and learning experience)
      But, when I first read Velvet’s post I was much newer to the program and was still struggling with the thoughts of celebrating, and her words were reflecting the years before. The struggle that year was not because I was not able to join in on the activities, nor that I did not want to because it would have taken away from my gambling time — I was after all abstaining from gambling at the time; the struggle was because I felt guilty over my actions during the past years, and I did not feel worthy of having a good time, of being part of normal activities.
      I now know that I was worthy, even during my active gambling, that it was my being controlled my an addiction that was the problem; I have always been worthy of and not denied any of the good things and blessings of life, I was only separated and blinded form them by my actions.
      At this time of year there will probably be a few more new members, and old members returning (we had three in my meeting last night), when they find that they are caught up in a situation of not being able to fulfill their hopes, and the dreams of their children; like stated above "Christmas is a time when it has become the practice for presents to be given in abundance". However the best and most wonderful present we can give our loved ones, and ourselves, is a life of being gambling free, and a brighter look at the Christmases to come; the material things are good and enjoyable to give and receive, but, being able to participate in the complete celebrations, and sharing in the the knowledge that we made an honest effort and not just tried to fulfil an expectation, is a far far better gift.
       
      So to all that are adversely affected by gambling at this time of year where seasonal stress can tear us down, reach out and use all the help and support you can get. Santa may have his elves to help him provide presents for all the boys and girls; but, we have our program of recovery and our Fellow Gamblers to help us. Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a Very Happily Gambling Free New Year.
      Stay strong. Keep aware. And "Don’t Gamble For Anything".
      "God bless us every one!" — Timothy Cratchit
      LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21418
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! First of all let me thank you again for the persceptive you provided to me regarding others actions regarding grieving. I was even prepared if someone had brought the ham that Mom usually brought. I was not going to say a thing about it, and let whomever brought it, cut it up. Thankfully there was no ham to deal with. I went into Christmas Day with a relaxed attitude and my feelings were that everything didn’t have to be perfect regarding the meal and what transpired that day. I was able to relax and even enjoy some parts of the day. I will not concern myself with how others are grieving or seemingly not grieving. Just because it’s different than what I do, doesn’t make it wrong. My intent this coming year is to work on worrying less about the things I cannot control. I look forward to the next year in recovery. It’s another new beginning for all of us. I want to acknowledge your growth at being able to share on a much more personal level. It makes you seem more "human" with struggles like the rest of us. And I like that person more because I know you more now. Happy New Year Larry! Carole   

    • #21419
      finding_laura
      Participant

      Dear Larry,
      another christmas day has passed, another milestone, another gamble free day.  I’m so happy you were able to find a thoughtful and personal gift for your daughter. It is a way of supporting her and acknowledging her talent.  Just as you are rebuilding a different life after gambling, one day at a time, you are rebuilding a relationship with your daughter, a different one, but one day at a time it is rebuilding.   I’m happy for you 🙂  We can’t change the past but we are responsible for today. 
      I started the above post yesterday afternoon and am just getting back to my pc now, with my morning coffee.  But that is part of my learning to live healthier. It was a day of pitching in for family when needed and i was present to help in all ways.  It gave me an opportunity to spend some quality time and lend a hand.  I hope you will forgive another delay in posting you personal Seasons Greetings but i know you will understand.  Thank-you for the beautiful gift of your friendship.  I know without hesistation you are there for me in my recovery. 
      Enjoy your day Larry, enjoy the rest of 2011, soon it will be Happy New Year.
      Take care xo
      Laura

    • #21420
      vera
      Participant

      You got it in one on my thread Larry..
      If recovery is going to overpower me, I might as well be gambling.
      I dont want to be a slave to anything.
      Gambling or recovery!
      Re covery can, unfortunately, un cover the issues gambling served to cover. these actions may have caused us to gamble initially.
      Being AWARE of this, may or may not cause us to spring into action. If we are just re acting to life, we will be no different to the slave who gambled compulsively. Anything which becomes a compulsion enslaves us. We need to drop ALL our desires Larry.
      My biggest desire is staring me in the eye right now. Recognising that desire is part of recovery. I’m trying to "receive my demons", one day at a time.

    • #21421
      reds
      Participant

      It is good to read your thoughts on, and of having, a strong mindset. one of my strongest tools is what I refer to ofter as a mental ban on gambling. This works for me better that a self-ban at different locations, bans that the casinos let you break, as long as it is to their advantage, and bans that some spend to much time and energy on getting past, resources that could be of better use in working on recovery.  Staying and thinking positive is the backbone of a successful program.
      Hi Larry  – and Happy New Year to you –
      I wanted to throw in a few thoughts on what you posted to another member.  A formal ban at a casino can be a way of reinforcing a mental ban.  I take my ban very seriously, unlike others who look for ways around theirs.  I’m here to enjoy a better life, to make better choices, not to play games.  I have always been a very honest person, honest to the point of stupidity at times.  And when I sign my name to that document, I will keep to my word.  What the casino does or doesn’t do is up to them and no concern of mine.  I have mentally drawn a line that includes any casino and adjacent parking lots and will not step into that ring of fire.  To me it is a taboo as strong as any.  Another thing is that the contract states " I acknowledge I may have a gambling problem ".  When I sign my name to that, there is no option to minimize or deny any longer.
      My mother wanted me to accompany her to Laughlin Nevada this winter so she could spend a few days with her slot machines and before I was a CG that might have been an option.  But to walk through a casino vioates my mental ban, even tho Nevada is way out of my legal jurisdiction. 
      Here in Alberta one ban covers the entire province, a province bigger than the state of California, and is administered by the provincial government.  it is a much better system than the piecemeal approach taken elsewhere.  Treatment options available here are excellent and readily available at very low cost, even free for those who have no money.  The goverment here has recently undertaken a campaign urging adults not to buy scratch tickets for minors and not to encourage children to gamble.  Very positive things indeed.
      Wishing you a Happy New Year of recovery.  
      redsJust for today, I will not gamble away my time, freedom or peace of mind.

    • #21422
      i am hope
      Participant

      Hey Larry
      Happy New Year to you. I have enjoyed reading all your input for 2011 and hope to read lots more of it in 2012.
      Living with Hope

    • #21423
      vera
      Participant

      If I were to post HAPPY NEW YEAR on everyone’s thread , I would be up all night and still miss someone, so, since your thread has the most "views" and "reads", I ll say it here, Larry and a big thank you for being my MENTOR!
      NEW YEAR BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOUR’S and to ALL who look at this thread!

    • #21424
      salina
      Participant

      unfortunately I am back…could use some support..so so tired of all this!
       this to shall pass

    • #21425
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by sunny123
      … i will try to enjoy this way of living.. which is called recovery.. and i am not doing it to stop gambling.. i am doing it to re-discover myself … 

      Good evening and Happy New Year everyone, so far its has been a great year (no joke intended), and I can only look forward for it to continue to be one that I do not add any disappointments or hardships to by gambling; by not gambling for anything "i will try to enjoy this way of living.. which is called recovery" — Thanks Sunny for sharing this insight in your pledge today. The meaning of this simple phrase has been the jest of some ideas being interchanged in recent post and I am happy to see another way of expressing that I live and benefit from my recovery, I do not hide behind it or let it control my life; guide and influence yes, but not control.
      I recognized another instance of this way of living as being part of my life last night while entertaining options to celebrate the coming of a New Year.  I had planed on traveling downtown for just a bar-burger and listening to a band that I enjoy, but like many other things in life their schedule was changed, and I did not have any desire to hear the replacement. After that change I considered going to a couple of bars right across the street from me and just have a drink or two, again after waiting around I had no real desire to go out just because it was New Year’s Eve, so I stayed home, fixed my own burger, listened to some music online, and retired early. The realization that I was enjoying living in recovery came to me this morning. I did not try to justify my staying at home on a night for celebration by using the excuse that the local bars, as most here do, had live interactive Lotto machines (pseudo slots that are allowed by "loopholes" in the laws governing the State Lottery). I did not have to hide behind my recovery and depend on it to keep me from gambling like I had to early on in recovery, I did not go out because I din not feel like it; a distinction that might be hard to recognize, but a big distinction for me.
      A member recently posted about being afraid on not being allowed to attend a wedding because of barriers, this too was part of my recognizing that I was doing things because it was my choice, and not because I could not face the world around me that is saturated by the gambling industry.  During the first months of my recovery a friend was being married in New Orleans, another town where poker/slot machines are in every bar and restaurant, and I could not go; I did not have the strength to fight off any temptation, I had to chose to stay home, I had to do one of many of the "everythings" that was required for me to stay gambling free. Today, because of recovery and it giving me strength and knowledge, because of my accepting the fact that I can not gamble when every urge or temptation strikes, because I am now free to choose, not free form the addiction, only free to make rational and logical right choices, I can say that I am enjoying this way of living. Instead of going out and doing something because it was a tradition, something that I would have not enjoyed that much, I instead when out for a New Year’s Day brunch before work; something that I, unfortunately for attempts to control my weight, do enjoy. And something that my recovery has provided me with the ability to do, the buffer was close to a casino and yet I had no desire to try my luck as part of starting off a new year — ergo, it has been a great year so far.
      There are some in recovery that have yet to learn that they too can live a life of not gambling, that they can work of change in their lifestyles, attitudes, and characters, so that recovery is no longer just a tool to stop gambling; for we do not need recovery to stop gambling, we have each stopped many many times in the past without recovery, we need recovery to be a way of life, a tool to teach us how not to gamble again and show us that we can live in the mist of the beast .. which is called gambling. 
      I am not being complacent, overconfident, tempting fate, or downplaying the powers of my addiction, I being comfortable in living a better and more normal way of life, I am working, practicing, and benefiting from my recovery, I am keeping aware of the things I must do, and the one thing that I cannot do. Another member has asked how some have accumulated certain amounts of gambling free time, diligently doing these daily affairs is one answer to that question for me.
      God’s speed to all. Stay strong. Keep aware. Keep working on recovery and soon you will be living it.LarryThanks to my Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT,  "Day Two Is Another Day Behind" and with the help from all , I will continue to remain gambling free.

    • #21426
      vera
      Participant

      Hi Larry! Thanks for posting to my thread yesterday. I love getting a post from you. I read it three times then read it aloud to my son!
      I’m happy to hear you are not being controlled by either gambling or recovery, Larry! The opposite to control is freedom. I think that comes only with the years! We spend our childhood being controlled by impulses and the restrictions adults put on these impulses! As adolescents, we are controlled by a mixture of hormones, fear of the consequences of our actions and in some cases the fear of God. In marriage our children control us during their childhood and teenage years, and just when we think we are free, many so called mature adults realise we have become slaves! Slaves to our convictions, slaves to society, to our desires, to gambling, alcohol, drugs even slaves to our GOD! Until one day we wake up and have to admit that our lives are in a shambles and we didn’t even see it coming until it was too late…
      Of course it’s never too late Larry!That thing we call recovery is really just us slaves learning how to  drop our attachments. One by one we examine our desires, whether it is a down town trip to hear a band, a choice between staying in or going out for a nigt, a trip to the casino, whatever, when we SEE it for what it is, we are no longer under that’s objects control. We become aware of it’s true worth and in that awareness , we learn to drop it! and lo and behold, we are FREE!
      Long live freedom!
      Lonh live recovery!

    • #21427
      desdemona
      Participant

      Dear Larry! I agree with you that in early recovery, we have to be supervigilant in the planning of our time so that we do not put ourselves in situations that we don’t yet have the skills to handle. I do have access to money now after a year of recovery work, because I have a debit card that I carry, with a withdrawl limit that I would gamble with, should I choose to. I also carry a credit card that allows me to access cash should I choose to do so. But I don’t go to town if I have gambling urges or I take a neighbour with me. I pay my bills online so I rarely have to go into the bank. I still put in barriers but they are more mental barriers. If carrying these cards became a problem for me, I would go back to not having access to enough cash to gamble with. I am responsible for the choices I make. Carole 

    • #21428
      paul315
      Participant

      Originally posted by paul315… After reading a post by paul1day, and like him, I would like to say "that my post are for me", so forgive me if I seam to carry on. This is not to say that I am not seeking your help, I read these post all the time and, again paraphrasing paul1, "graciously accept all the help I receive here" and deeply appreciate your comments that give me further insight, help and encouragement.

      Good afternoon,
      I am setting around waiting for a delivery (I miss the part of my old apartment being in a complex where the building manager would sign for deliveries) cooking and listening to music on the radio. I am also spending more time than usual reading different post, even some of my own first ones that the above paragraph was taken. I found that my recognition of a need for help from others, and the benefit to be found in my posting to others as if posting to me started in the beginning. Replies as if all of "My post are for me" still seems to be a good way for me to learn and gain further insight and encouragement. So again I ask you to forgive any of my carrying on; my carrying on to others does help me to carry on in my journey.
      While I carry on in replies to other, updates to this my main topic are not that frequent. One reason being that my life in general is uneventful.  Don’t get this wrong, "uneventful" is a good thing for me even if it may carry a negative message to others; I do have a different way of looking at things.  A good friend of mine and I that do not see each other quite as often as before, and even when we did, use this term also to let each other know that all is OK, that the trip went OK, that a certain event went on OK, that life has been good without incident, etc.  We are both of the same mindset that everyday events and enjoyments represent what is to be expected and therefor uneventful, just normal — waking up to smell the roses or coffee is the way things are meant to be. Unfortunately this outlook on life, and the reasons, was substituted and suppressed when I was active with my addiction, and he with his as an AA was active in his; but now are both enjoying all the uneventful things of life, and properly dealing with the less enjoyable and sad eventful things that must be included in the adventure of living.
      A few here encourage me to be more open and informative about my adventures in life, but now that I am living gambling free, uneventful things are again back to the status quo and I just fail to take the time to talk about them to others; thinking that they are like my other friend, they know that things are OK. I am not a private person, I still post about some of the more enjoyable events and even thing that I have problems with, it is just that my post to others allows me to journal my feeling concerning the problems, and talking about all the good would take too much time. But I have a lot of time today so I will carry on with venting, babbling, and just typing about what comes to mind.
      At my GA meeting last night the reading started out being about the "why me" questions that seam to hold people back from accepting the facts about our addiction; instead of addressing the issues, we ask why we were "singled out". Here again with my taking a different view on things, I see it as a different question. I did not see my "why me" as an accusing question, I saw it as relating to the question "Why Me Lord, What Have I ever Done to Deserve Even One of the Blessing You Give", not what have I done to deserve problems, heartaches, and adversities. For me looking at things form different and more positive angles makes negative things look better and less controlling or threatening.
      Before I am interrupted by my expected delivery I will carry on a little more about the delivery, a mild medical intrusion on my life, and maybe even about one of the uneventful happenings.  My medical condition is not serious as many other here have talked about, more of a nuances and discomfort, but one that I am being reminded of as I type. For quite a few years I have been experiencing the effects of what is know as Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition that affects the arteries and is marked by brief episodes of a narrowing of the blood vessels. This causes my fingers to swell. itch, and be sensitive to touch. My fingers get cold even with heavy gloves and in the past the only sign was purplish fingernails, red fingertips and a a burning-cold feeling. However the past few weeks it has progressed to the itching and sensitivity symptoms. And the best cure and prevention, unless it gets to serious, is to not let them get cold, even when handling food, and to use a lot of itching relief ointment.
      The delivery that I am expecting is a new coffee maker (I do almost all of my shopping online). The other morning my old one just did not work, and for the past few days I have been drinking cola for my morning pick-me-up, it is not the same, and knowing that I am sharing a "cupa" with others here is not the same either; their presence is felt, but the aroma and taste of their brew does not make it through cyberspace.  This is just another very mild inconvenience that I am facing, nothing the keeps be awake, no pun intended, but it is a reminder of part of one of the 20 Questions that was asked when I first joined GA; "13. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?". Nearing the end on my gambling binges I would hold on to every penny just to gamble, I started skimping on the amount of coffee required to brew a good cup, started reusing grounds, and yes, even took coffee packets home from different places, I was doing anything to keep from spending a few gambling dollars on a can of coffee. Now in a little while, I plan to make me a cup and enjoy a delayed wake up to the smell of coffee, and continue doing anything to keep be from having to answer such question in the affirmative again.
      The last part of my post will be about the enjoyments of an uneventful occasion, or occasions. My daughter just recently "friended" me on her Facebook page, this is something that I did not give much thought too, either at the notice, except for the good feeling of being included in her thoughts, or the time that I was not a "friend"; I didn’t know that I wasn’t, so it made no difference and both ways was only a natural way of those living in a type of a reality-show episode. I have peeked in on occasions to some pages, but never poked, ???, anyone or replied to notices that some one had poked me. I did join when FB first started to reserve claim to my "moniker" used on most all sites.  Like I said, this was an uneventful, yet satisfying, event that I would really talk about. Except, now that the initial pleasing feeling is part of everyday life, I am also a little disappointed that I am a FBF. I do not want to know about what she is finding "uneventful" in her life, some of the things that I have read, and as a father presumed to be too much for my little girl to be involved in — she was 8 when I left, and is now 15, going on ?. I am only talking about her piercings and posing with cigarettes, and "with a boy", but still not what I would particularly like to see and admit to as her growing up. She also has accounts of the little girl things that she still does, and talk about her what-"I"-considered-to-be-normal interest, so I guess I should just not look at the other things to harshly and be grateful that I am a friend when I can not be a father in residence.  She does show an amazing talent and imagination in the photos see post, and an amazing beauty, reminiscent of her mother’s looks, in the ones of her; and thanks to seeing her talent and reading about her interest on FB I was able to give her a better lens for her camera. All in all, all is good and all is OK, i.e., uneventful in her and my life.